A day after winning its first major legislature battle to bag the Speaker’s post in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly — the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde government supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will seek the crucial ‘vote of confidence’ in the House, scheduled here on Monday.
The trust vote for the Shinde-led government — sworn-in on June 30 after the collapse of the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi regime — comes on the second day of the two-day Special Session of the Assembly convened by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on July 3-4
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed confidence that the ruling alliance will easily win the House trust as it has 166 MLAs on its side, comprising the BJP, the Shiv Sena’s rebel group which broke away on June 20, besides independents and smaller parties’ legislators — sufficient to clear the midway mark of 145 (in the 288-member Lower House).
On Sunday, the government cleared its first litmus test when BJP’s Advocate Rahul Narwekar — a first-time legislator — was elected as Speaker of the House with a comfortable margin.
While Narwekar, (45), bagged 164 votes, the MVA candidate Rajan Salvi secured only 107 votes of the 171 votes polled in the 288-member house.
Congress leader Nana Patole was the last Speaker, who was elected late in 2019 after the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress MVA government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took office.
However, Patole quit the post in February 2021 after he was appointed as the state Congress President and since then, NCP’s Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was officiating for nearly 18 months.