It’s a gameplan of the Mahayuti alliance to keep NCP on the backfoot.
The Maharashtra state assembly’s decision to revoke the suspension of five Congress MLAs responsible for creating a ruckus and misbehaving with the Maharashtra Governor is politically motivated to deny the coveted post to NCP. The NCP had created troubles for BJP by initially offering outside support and later threatening to withdraw support. The party’s move had forced Shiv Sena to sit in opposition and not join the government. However, NCP’s recurring talks about creating instability in the state made both BJP and Shiv Sena to rethink their gameplan and make peace with each other. Since then Shiv Sena has been supporting Congress candidate for the post of leader of opposition in the lower house to keep NCP at bay.
According to sources, “The BJP and Shiv Sena has taken the decision to revoke the suspension of Congress MLA’s to keep NCP on the backfoot which has been trying to create rift between both the parties. NCP had earlier supported the BJP with an intention to withdraw support after some months and go for fresh election but its plan has backfired. People had voted for the Sena-BJP for providing a stable government in Maharasthra.”
Announcing the decision, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Girish Bapat said the suspension of Rahul Bondre, Abdul Sattar, Jaikumar Gore, Amar Kale and Virendra Jagtap has been revoked.
The five Congress MLAs were suspended for two years during the Special Session of Maharashtra Legislature couple of months ago. All the five MLAs have given their word of following the rules and regulations and decorum of House.
Senior Congress leader and former minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil was declared the new Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly. Patil replaced opposition leader Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena in the wake of the party quitting the Opposition and joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government earlier this month. Speaker Haribhau Bagde in a suo moto statement made the announcement in the Lower House and installed Patil as LoP.
Vikhe-Patil’s appointment came a day after the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Dhanjay Munde was elevated as Leader of Opposition in the legislative council, the upper house. Munde is the estranged nephew of the late union minister and BJP leader Gopinath Munde and a cousin of current state minister Pankaja Munde.
With this, both Houses of the Maharashtra legislature have finally got full-time Leaders of Opposition, over two months after the 2014 assembly elections. The NCP has been eyeing for both these posts.
Earlier the NCP claimed that it had 45 seats with the support of three legislators from Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and an independent candidate from Badner Ravi Rana and hence it is entitled to get the leader of opposition post. On the other hand, Congress staked claim for the post as it is the third largest party in the state with 42 MLA’s.
In the October elections, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 122 MLAs (one died soon after so its effective strength was 121), Shiv Sena 63, Congress 42 and NCP 41, and the remaining going to independents and smaller parties in the 288-member house.
Earlier, the Leader of Opposition’s post was held by BJP’s Vinod Tawde, who quit after being elected to the lower house and is presently a cabinet minister in the state assembly.