12:50 pm: Shiv Sena to have Leader of Opposition post
Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde will be the leader of the opposition given that the Shiv Sena is going to sit in the Opposition, reports CNN-IBN.
The channel reported that the Speaker had decided that the Shiv Sena would get the post of Leader of Opposition since it had the most number of seats among the parties in the opposition.
Ironically enough, the BJP now has a minority government in the state and it’s survival hinges on the support of the NCP.
12:45 pm: BJP government clears first hurdle, passes voice vote test in Assembly
Devendra Fadnavis’s fledgling government has cleared its first test by winning the voice vote in the Assembly.
The Speaker has decided not to go in for a division of votes, which could prove to be a controversial result if the opposition parties raise it, reports CNN-IBN.
The Assembly has been adjourned for a few minutes for now.
11:15 am: It’s official, BJP’s Haribhau Bagade is the new Maharashtra Assembly Speaker
After the Shiv Sena and Congress withdrew their candidates it was a cakewalk for Haribhau Bagade, who has been chosen as the new Maharashtra Assembly Speaker unanimously, reports ANI.
And there’s been a temporary break in hostilities for now with the Shiv Sena congratulating Bagade on the floor of the house.
11:10 am: NCP says they will vote in favour of the BJP
After speculation that they could abstain from the confidence vote, the NCP has confirmed that it would vote in favour of the BJP government if needed, reports NDTV.
10:05 am: Victory for BJP as Shiv Sena, Congress withdraw candidates for speaker’s post
The BJP has crossed the first hurdle of the day with the Congress and Shiv Sena withdrawing their candidates against the BJP’s candidate Haribhau Bagde.
“Uddhav ji has decided to support BJP’s Haribhau Bagde. We withdrew our speaker candidate Vijay Ahuti,” Ramdas Kadam told reporters.
NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal has meanwhile said that the party will back the BJP government in the interests of providing the state with a stable government. The BJP falls short of 22 seats in the state Assembly and will also speak the support of Independents and smaller regional parties.
10:00 am: Won’t take support of parties who come with caveats, says BJP
“The Shiv Sena’s decision is their own. We have the numbers and will win the trust vote,” BJP leader and minister Eknath Khadse told reporters.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, party spokesperson GVL Rao told ANI that the BJP would not take the support of any party that laid down conditions.
“Shiv Sena should support us but thats a call they have to take,” he said.
9:45 am: Will vote against the BJP in Maharashtra Assembly, says Shiv Sena’s Ramdas Kadam
There seems to be no doubt for now that the BJP can’t bank on the Shiv Sena’s support for the confidence vote in the Maharashtra Assembly.
“We have been told to vote against the Maharashtra government in the Assembly,” senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam told reporters.
The Shiv Sena has reportedly told every one of its MLAs to be present in the Assembly for the vote.
9:40 am: Will you survive thanks to rats like NCP, Sena asks BJP in editorial
Hours ahead of the crucial confidence vote in the Maharashtra Assembly, the Shiv Sena showed no signs of easing up on erstwhile ally BJP and in its mouthpiece questioned whether Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would rely on the support of “rats” like the NCP to stay in power.
“Are you going to win the confidence vote with the aid of these rats? You will have to answer to the people. But in reality you cannot tell anyone where you will end up taking Maharashtra with the aid of these rats,” the Sena mouthpiece said in an editorial.
The editorial said the Chief Minister should explain how he would run the government with the support of a party that the people of the state had rejected.
In the editorial titled “Will the government float on the backs of rats?”, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece questioned the logic behind the BJP resorting to taking the support of the NCP to stay in power in the state.
“The BJP will have to put before the people the manipulations it does to stay in power. The BJP is fine with getting the Shiv Sena’s support to stay in power but they are not prepared to take forward negotiations on including the party in the government,” the editorial said.
The party questioned how the BJP could take the support of the NCP whose philosophy it claimed was to create a “mountain of corruption” and had looted Maharashtra.
9:30 am: BJP needs to survive trust vote, and battle for Speaker’s chair
With Shiv Sena and Congress fielding their candidates for the Speaker’s post in the Maharashtra Assembly, the Devendra Fadnvais-led government is set to face two crucial tests, the Speaker’s election and the trust vote.
Having staked claim for the post of the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) on Monday as a back up plan in case its deal with the BJP failed, the Sena on Tuesday threw its hat in the ring for the Speaker’s post as well. This move has caught the BJP unawares as it was still hopeful about taking Sena along and seeking their support to cross the majority mark.
Ahead of the trust vote, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met Sena MLAs at the party’s office in Mumbai’s Nariman Point on Tuesday evening. Soon after the meeting, the Sena issued a whip to all its MLAs to ensure that they don’t cross-vote during the Speaker’s election, which would be held using a secret ballot.
Uddhav reportedly told the MLAs to prepare for the worst. However, party sources said that the Sena was still hoping for a deal with the BJP to breakthrough. The Sena was banking on a 12-hour window on Tuesday night to talk to the BJP and join the government. The nomination for the Speaker’s post could still be withdrawn on Wednesday.
The Sena has insisted that it would it would sit in opposition unless the BJP clearly spelt out its position on the unconditional support extended by the NCP.
“We are not going to change our stand. If the BJP wants to take support of an anti-Hindutva party like the NCP, then they are free to do so. We will contest for the Speaker’s post,” said Sena’s Leader of Legislative Assembly Eknath Shinde