Uddhav Thackeray to take oath on Sunday

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By Our Political Affairs Bureau

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress Tuesday evening cleared the decks for Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to become Maharashtra’s new Chief Minister.

The parties formalised their alliance as Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi before endorsing Thackeray to take over the top job in the state.

In his acceptance speech, Thackeray said addressing the plight of farmers would a top priority.

“I accept the responsibility given by all of you. I’m not alone but you all are CM with me. What has happened today is the actual democracy. Together we will wipe off the tears of farmers in the state,” he said, according to ANI.

He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her party’s support. “I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others. We are giving a new direction to country by keeping faith on each other.”

The Supreme Court verdict ordering a quick floor test for the Devendra Fadnavis-led government through an open ballot contributed to the collapse of the wobbly coalition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, people familiar with the development said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy Ajit Pawar resigned soon after the top court delivered its verdict on a petition filed by the three coalition partners, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

The court had not only given the Fadnavis government just one day to get the assembly’s confidence vote but also stipulated that the proceedings should be telecast live, conducted by a pro-tem speaker and held by an open ballot.

The BJP’s first reaction to the Supreme Court was one of confidence. State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said that BJP would prove its majority in the House.

The confidence motion is generally administered after the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly gets elected. If there is more than one candidate, then the speaker’s election as per Maharashtra State Legislature rules, it is held by a secret ballot. The Speaker can then determine how the government proves its majority.

In 2014, the BJP proved its majority on the floor of the House through a voice vote after the Speaker was elected.

The BJP saw a repeat of this format as its best case scenario; where it can prove its floor test by a voice vote after it elects its speaker in a secret ballot.

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