Floor Test Will Decide Who Has Majority, Says Sharad Pawar On Maharashtra Crisis

NCP chief Sharad Pawar speaks to reporters amid Maharashtra crisis


Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar today expressed confidence the Maha Vikas Aghadi government would survive the storm unleashed by rebel MLA Eknath Shinde, who claims the support of over 40 MLAs.

“A floor test will decide who has majority,” Mr Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party, or MVA, is a Shiv Sena ally, told reporters this evening.

“Everyone knows how the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs were taken to Gujarat and then Assam (both BJP-ruled). We don’t have to take the names of all those assisting them…Assam government is helping them. I don’t need to take any names further,” Mr Pawar said.

Only 13 MLAs came for a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today, sources have said, while the rebel MLA Mr Shinde in a video to prove that he has the upper hand showed at least 42 MLAs camping at a hotel in Assam’s Guwahati.

In a last-ditch attempt to save the ruling Maharashtra alliance, Team Thackeray has decided to file an appeal with the Maharashtra assembly Deputy Speaker seeking to disqualify 15 rebel MLAs, sources have said.

The Sena may not move to disqualify 30 or more MLAs, however, since that would bring the halfway mark down, which would benefit the BJP. Sena’s play appears to be to go for disqualifying a few rebels to discourage the rest from facing elections, hence forcing them to return.

“The rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena will have to come to Mumbai…because if the minority is Maha Vikas Aghadi, then they will have to come to the Vidhan Sabha…and who will support them once they come to the assembly? Will BJP leaders from Gujarat and Assam come to the assembly to support them?” Mr Pawar said.

Mr Shinde has already reached the critical number of MLAs, 37, required to split the party in the assembly without falling foul of the anti-defection law. With two more Sena MLAs, he will have 39. His total strength is now 42, including Independent MLAs.

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