The 13-day-old BJP government in Maharashtra headed by Devendra Fadnavis will seek a vote of confidence on Wednesday which it is expected to win with the help of NCP despite its continuing stand-off with Shiv Sena.
The former allies look set to cross swords even before the crucial trust vote with both putting up candidates for the Speaker’s post. Congress has also fielded its nominee, making it a three-way contest.
Shiv Sena, which being the second largest party after BJP had staked claim to the post of Leader of the Opposition, is yet to announce whether it will vote against the government during the floor test.
A meeting of Sena legislators was held at the party headquarters ‘Shivalaya’.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had sent out conflicting signals last night after the party staked claim to LoP’s post, saying he was open to conciliatory talks with BJP over participation in the government “whenever they come forward”.
The 41-member NCP of Sharad Pawar has already declared its support to the minority government. BJP has 121 MLAs in the House with effective strength of 287 and has claimed support of 7 Independent MLAs, three of Bahujan Vikas Aagadhi, besides some others.
Pawar had on Monday said the MLAs will decide during the trust vote whether to vote in support of the government or abstain. In either case, the government will win the vote as 63-member Shiv Sena and Congress with 42 MLAs together cannot pull it down.