Eknath Shinde Faces Test To Prove Majority Today: 10 Facts

The test of strength comes a day after BJP’s Rahul Narwekar was elected Speaker

Maharashtra’s four-day-old Eknath Shinde government — formed with the aid of the BJP after two weeks of deep political crisis — will have to prove its majority in the assembly today. The test, though, is expected to be a formality.

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story

  1. The test of strength comes a day after BJP’s Rahul Narwekar was elected Speaker — a significant move in view of the Shiv Sena’s pending appeal to disqualify 16 rebel MLAs, including the new Chief Minister.

  2. Mr Narwekar last night reinstated Mr Shinde as the Shiv Sena’s legislative party leader and also recognised the appointment of Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip of the Sena.

  3. Mr Shinde has been angling for such an outcome. But even in case of a disqualification of 16 MLAs, the new government will have the numerical advantage.

  4. The BJP currently has 106 MLAs and Mr Shinde claims he has the support of 50, including 39 Sena rebels. A disqualification of 16 MLAs will bring the majority mark to 137, the government will still be in a comfortable position with a total strength of 140.

  5. Yesterday, the Speaker was elected with 164 votes. Opposition candidate Rajan Salvi got only 107 votes.

  6. Eknath Shinde’s rebellion – which erupted on the night of June 20 — had whittled down the numbers of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, with new faces joining the rebel camp every day.

  7. On Wednesday, Mr Thackeray stepped down from the top post after the Supreme Court said he has to prove majority on the floor of the house as ordered by the Governor.

  8. A day later, Mr Shinde was named the Chief Minister in a shock announcement by the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis.

  9. Later in the evening, in a further surprise, Mr Fadnavis — a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra — signed up as Mr Shinde’s Deputy following pressure from the BJP brass.

  10. Eknath Shinde’s supporters landed in Mumbai on Saturday evening. The rebels spent the last two weeks in BJP-ruled states — initially in Gujarat’s Surat, then Assam’s Guwahati and finally in Goa.

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