Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Monday said he was sure that some of the Congress MLAs who remained absent during the Eknath Shinde government’s trust vote will vote as per their conscience in favour of National Democratic Alliance’s presidential poll candidate Droupadi Murmu.
Speaking to reporters in the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan premises where voting was underway for the presidential election, Patil said the Congress cannot even guard its own MLAs.
“I am sure that some Congress MLAs who remained absent during the vote of confidence will apply their conscience this time as well,” he quipped.
The NDA has fielded Droupadi Murmu for the country’s top constitutional post, while the opposition has nominated former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.
BJP MLA and former Maharashtra minister Ashish Shelar said, “The opposition parties should not boast about their strength. They have fallen flat on their face earlier also.” During the Shinde government’s vote of confidence on July 4, 11 Congress legislators, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan were not present in the Assembly. They could not vote as they reached the Vidhan Bhawan late. Senior Congress leader and former state chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had taken a dim view of so many party MLAs being absent during the crucial trust vote in the House.
The BJP currently has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly along with 40 MLAs belonging to the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena, besides 10 independents who support the BJP.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena with 15 MLAs has announced support for Murmu.
The NCP and Congress have 53 and 44 MLAs, respectively.