Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday comfortably won the trust vote in the Maharashtra assembly with 164 MLAs in his support. Even while leaders expected to stay in support of ex-CM Eknath Shinde voted in favour of the Shinde-Fadnavis combine, it was interesting to see the absence of some Congress MLAs during the floor test.
Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar, two prominent Maharashtra Congress MLAs, walked into the state assembly after the Eknath Shinde camp had already demonstrated a comfortable majority. The two leaders were late, and the youngest Congress MLA, Zeeshan Siddique, another Congress MLA, Dheeraj Deshmukh, and Nationalist Congress Party’s Sangram Jagtap, who were present for the speaker vote yesterday, did not appear, fueling speculation.
At the time of the vote, Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar were unable to reach the house. Nawab Malik of the NCP, Anil Deshmukh, Dattatray Vithoba Bharne, Nilesh Dnyandev Lanke, Anna Bansode, Dilip Dattatray Mohite, Baban Shinde, Mukta Tilak of the BJP, Laxman Jagtap of the Congress, Praniti Shinde of the Congress, Ranjit Kamble of the Congress, and Mufti Ismail Qasmi were also absent.
The new Eknath Shinde-led government won the floor test by a 164-99 margin, proving his government’s majority and cementing his position as the state’s Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader.
Commenting on the speculations, Ashok Chavan said there was no merit to the rumours, and that ‘we are all together’.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s son, Aaditya Thackeray, voted against the whip issued by Shiv Sena chief whip Bharat Gogawale, who was appointed last night, and may face disqualification proceedings.
This is the culmination of two weeks of political surprises that splintered the Shiv Sena and brought the Uddhav Thackeray government down.