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MVA govt not in minority yet, floor test will prove numbers : Sharad Pawar on Maharashtra crisis

Addressing media, the NCP chief exuded confidence that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government would survive despite rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde claiming support of over 40 MLAs

June 23, 2022 / 08:56 PM IST
NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar during a press conference (file photo)

NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar during a press conference (file photo)

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar said at a press conference on June 23 that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA) government will survive and only a floor test can prove actual numbers.

“It is not established yet that the MVA government is in minority. A floor test will prove actual numbers; the rebels should speak to Uddhav Thackeray, ” Pawar said exuding confidence that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government would survive despite rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde claiming the support of over 40 MLAs.

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Pawar also accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam of assisting the rebel lawmakers.

“Everyone knows how the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs were taken to Gujarat and then Assam. We do not have to take the names of all those assisting them...Assam Government is helping them. I don't need to take any names further,” he said.

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“The MVA has decided to back CM Uddhav Thackeray. I believe once the (Shiv Sena) MLAs return to Mumbai the situation will change,” Pawar told reporters.

READ | MC Explains: The anti-defection law and how it will play out in Maharashtra

Only 13 MLAs showed up for a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today, according to the sources even as Shinde in a video showed at least 42 MLAs camping at a hotel in BJP-ruled Assam's Guwahati.

Earlier in the day, amid hectic political parleys. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who had reportedly had a fall out with Shinde a few days before the fissures within the coalition had become apparent, said that the party is ready to consider exiting the MVA if all the MLAs wish so.

"The MLAs should not communicate from Guwahati; they should come back to Mumbai and discuss all this with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. We are ready to consider exiting the MVA if this is the will of all the MLAs. However, for that, they must come here and discuss the issue with the Chief Minister.” Raut, the Shiv Sena MP told news agency ANI.

The two-and-a-half-year old MVA government of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress currently has 152 legislators in the Maharashtra legislative assembly. Of these, the Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs, the NCP 53 and the Congress 44, as part of MVA. Two NCP MLAs Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik are currently in jail in connection with money laundering cases.

Also, read | Maha Political Crisis | Ready to consider exiting MVA if all MLAs concur: Sena’s Sanjay Raut

Shinde would need just 36 MLAs to go along with him if he wants to split the Shiv Sena without being disqualified (cease to be a member of the House) under the anti-defection law. As per the rules, if the rebel group wants to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at least 37 MLAs (two-thirds of Shiv Sena’s 55) have to come together to ensure they do not face disqualification.
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