Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA govt to face floor test on June 30; Eknath Shinde visits Kamakhya temple to pray for Maharashtra's 'happiness'

Amid ongoing political crisis, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has summoned a special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha with the only agenda of a trust vote against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA govt to face floor test on June 30; Eknath Shinde visits Kamakhya temple to pray for Maharashtra's 'happiness'

New Delhi: Amid the rebellion in the Shiv Sena by senior minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has called for a special session of the Assembly on June 30 to hold a floor test of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. In a letter dated June 28, Koshyari has written to Maharashtra Legislature's Principal Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat and said, "A special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (legislative Assembly) shall be summoned on June 30 (Thursday) at 11 am with the only agenda of a trust vote against the chief minister, and the proceedings shall be concluded in any case by 5 pm."

"The proceedings of the House shall be telecast live and appropriate arrangements for the same shall be made," the Maharashtra governor said in the letter.

This comes a day after the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had urged Koshyari to direct the crisis-hit MVA government to prove its majority in the Assembly. 

Meanwhile, as the Maharashtra political crisis entered the ninth day, rebellion Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday visited the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati to pray for the "happiness" of Maharashtra.

"I visited the Kamakhya temple for happiness and prosperity of Maharashtra. I seek blessings of Maa Kamakhya," Shinde told reporters outside the temple.

When asked about his next step, the rebel leader said: "We will return to Mumbai tomorrow to complete the necessary formalities." 

Earlier on Tuesday, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai and submitted a letter to him, seeking direction to the MVA government to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly in view of the rebellion in the Shiv Sena, the lead party in the ruling alliance.  Fadnavis, a former CM, claimed that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress ruling coalition seemed to be in a minority as 39 Sena MLAs, who belong to the rebel faction led by cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, have said they do not support the government. 

"Therefore, we handed over a letter to the Governor, requesting him to ask the government to prove its majority through a floor test in the House," the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly told reporters. 

Citing various Supreme Court judgments, Fadnavis said in the letter that as the majority in the House is "supreme" in parliamentary democracy and essential for a government's existence, he was requesting the Governor to ask the chief minister to prove the majority at the earliest. Before meeting the Governor around 10 pm, Fadnavis called on top BJP leaders, including party president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in New Delhi earlier in the day. 

According to sources, before the former CM landed at the Raj Bhavan, eight Independent MLAs, who were earlier associated with the Shiv Sena, sent emails from Guwahati -- where the rebel group headed by Shinde is camping -- seeking floor test at the earliest, claiming the Thackeray government has lost its majority.

Return to Mumbai, hold talks: Uddhav Thackeray urges rebel Shiv Sena MLAs

Reaching out to dissident Sena MLAs once again, CM Thackeray urged them to return to Mumbai and hold talks with him, saying it's not "too late", but rebel leader Shinde remained unmoved and asserted the legislators backing him are firm on taking forward Hindutva. The fresh conciliatory move came a day after the CM, who is also the Sena president, took away the portfolios of all nine rebel ministers, including Shinde, and against the backdrop of the Supreme Court granting relief to breakaway MLAs. 

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, ratcheted up the rhetoric against the rebels, warning those who have betrayed the party leadership should not be able to move around freely. 

Thackeray's offer to mend fences comes against the backdrop of controversial statements made by some Shiv Sena leaders, especially Raut whose "40 bodies without soul" statement had caused a flutter. 

"It is not too late. I appeal to you to return and sit with me and remove the confusion (created by your actions) among Shiv Sainiks and the public," a statement by Thackeray's aide quoted him as saying. 

"If you return and face me, some way could be found. As the party president and family head, I still care for you," he said. 

Thackeray said family members of some rebel MLAs camping in Guwahati are in touch with him. 

"You have been stuck in Guwahati for the last few days. New information is coming out about you every day, and many of you are also in touch. In your heart, you are still with the Shiv Sena," he said.

Around 40 rebel Sena MLAs and at least 10 independent legislators have lodged themselves at a five-star hotel in Guwahati in their bid to bring down the two-and-a-half-year-old MVA government.

What is party position in 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly?

Following is the party position in the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly:

 

  • Shiv Sena -- 55
  • NCP -- 53
  • Congress -- 44
  • BJP -- 106
  • Bahujan Vikas Aghadi -- 3
  • Samajwadi Party -- 2
  • AIMIM -- 2
  • Prahar Janshakti Party -- 2
  • MNS -- 1
  • CPI (M) -- 1
  • PWP -- 1
  • Swambhimani Paksha -- 1
  • Rashtriya Samaj Paksha -- 1
  • Jansurajya Shakti Party -- 1
  • Krantikari Shetkari Party -- 1
  • Independents -- 13

There is one vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke last month. Out of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs, 38 are in Guwahati along with 10 independents. Two NCP members - Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal - have tested COVID-19 positive, while two other party legislators - Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik - are currently in Jail.

(With inputs from agencies)

What is party position in 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly?

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