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Maharashtra: After Meeting With Fadnavis, Governor Calls for Floor Test; Sena Moves SC

The apex court will hear the Sena plea at 5 pm today.

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New Delhi: The Shiv Sena has moved Supreme Court after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a letter to the Secretary of the Maharashtra legislative assembly, convening a special session tomorrow, June 30, during which a floor test against the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena-NCP-Congress government will take place.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis, tipped to make a comeback as the chief minister if the Thackeray government falls, met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan late on Tuesday, June 28, and asked him to call for a floor test in the assembly. Also with Fadnavis were senior BJP leaders Ashish Shelar, Chandrakant Patil and Pravin Darekar.

Shiv Sena chief whip Suni Prabhu has petitioned the Supreme Court against Koshiyari’s decision. The apex court will hear the plea at 5 pm.

Senior party leader Sanjay Raut has called the situation a “mockery of the constitution” considering that the Supreme Court had given time to the 16 ‘disqualified’ rebel MLAs till July 11 and the floor test was called within that period.

Meanwhile, jailed Nationalist Congress Party MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh have approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to vote in the floor test. The NCP is in alliance with the Sena and Congress.

The Thackeray-led government is understood to have lost majority after the Shiv Sena MLAs’ rebellion.

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde had said a day ago that he will reach Mumbai on Thursday for the floor test. Shinde and his camp claim to have the backing of around 50 MLAs – 39 from the Sena itself.

A floor test is likely to defeat the current coalition government in the state. The Maharashtra tri- party government of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress comprises 152 MLAs. Of them, 55 MLAs belong to the Sena, 53 are from the NCP and the remaining 44 are from the Congress.

Rebel Shiv Sena minister Gulabrao Patil on Wednesday said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has left his 52 MLAs, but is not ready to leave NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in a direct attack on the Sena president.

Patil said the rebel MLAs were not opportunist and did everything for the party and their leader when they were not even in a position to do so.

Patil is part of the rebellion launched by senior leader Eknath Shinde last week against the Sena. These legislators have been urging the Sena leadership to snap ties with the NCP and Congress that share power with their party in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

“He left ‘Varsha’ (chief minister’s official residence), he left 52 MLAs, he left everyone, but he is not ready to leave Sharad Pawar,” Patil told his fellow rebel legislators in an address which was released by the dissident camp from Guwahati.

Shinde told reporters in Guwahati, where a large group of MLAs backing him is camping since a week, that he will reach Mumbai along with all his group legislators. The MLAs have reportedly left for Goa.

Shinde, who stepped out of the luxury hotel in Guwahati, the rebel group’s home for the last week, said he had offered prayers at Guwahati’s Kamakhya temple for peace and prosperity of people of Maharashtra.

(With PTI inputs)

Note: This is a developing story and will be updated and republished as developments occur.