It SEEMS the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will sail through the trust vote today without hiccups. The party claims it has managed to gather support from a total of 140 MLAs.
It already has 122 MLAs, including an alliance partner, and sources said that the party would receive indirect support from unexpected quarters — the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which has decided to abstain from voting against the BJP.
CM Devendra Fadnavis claimed the BJP has the support of 140 MLAs. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has sought to know how many of its MLAs would be inducted in Fadnavis’ Cabinet. Pic/PTI
Speaking with media persons at his chamber in Vidhan Bhavan on Tuesday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that apart from 122 MLAs from the BJP and its ally, three MLAs from Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi, and a group of independent MLAs have decided to support his government. A delegation of eight MLAs, led by the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), met him and told him they had decided to back the government.
Though Fadnavis didn’t reveal who are supporting the BJP, sources said the two MLAs of MIM have decided not to vote against the party. A dialogue with the MIM was established through RPI leader and Rajya Sabha member Ramdas Athawale, sources claimed, adding that the party has decided to stay neutral.
Former journalist and newly elected MLA Imtiaz Jaleel took a similar line while talking to a section of the media on Monday. “We are for development and we are not going to vote during the trust vote,” he said. With this assertion, it is clear that MIM’s decision is going to benefit the BJP government. Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar will move the trust vote today.
Meanwhile, beleaguered ally Shiv Sena, facing unrest among its MLAs, is still hopeful of a solution and is believed to have urged the BJP top brass to announce at least the number of Cabinet posts it wants to offer to the Sena.
According to senior leaders of the saffron parties, Shiv Sena, on Tuesday, sought to know how many ministers from their party would be inducted. The BJP, on the other hand, is trying its best to squeeze the former ally as much as possible. When Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was heard as saying that a formula could still be possible, BJP’s CM Devendra Fadnavis said no talks on departments would take place further.
In related developments, Shiv Sena decided to field its candidate for the Assembly speaker’s post. Sena’sVijay Auti filed his nomination papers yesterday, making the fight triangular one. Congress, too, jumped into the fray by fielding Varsha Gaikwad for the post. According to sources from the Congress, it was a pressure tactic to ensure the post of deputy speaker for its candidate. CM Fadnavis held a meeting with group leaders of Congress and Shiv Sena later in the day and appealed to them to withdraw their nominations and support BJP’s candidate Haribhau Bagde.
However, the parties refused to do so.
To work on its strategies for the D-day, Congress had a meeting of its legislators at Vidhan Bhavan, the Shiv Sena party chief addressed his MLAs at Shivalaya, and NCP had a meeting of its MLAs at its party office located near Mantralaya. BJP met its MLAs at Y B Chavan Centre.