What Maharashtra Speaker Said On Sanjay Raut’s Ruling Coalition “Unstable” Claim

Rahul Narwekar said Eknath Shinde government has the magic number (File)


Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Monday said the Eknath Shinde-led government is stable and enjoys the majority support in the Lower House of the state legislature. He asserted he will take a decision on disqualification petitions filed by rival Shiv Sena factions within the Supreme Court-set time frame.

Talking to the media in Sindhudurg district, around 500km from Mumbai, he slammed Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut for making statements questioning stability of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) government, saying it has the “magic” number on its side.

Asked by reporters about Mr Raut’s consistent claim that the ruling coalition is unstable, Mr Narwekar said, “A government falls only when it fails the number game in the legislative assembly and not because of comments made outside in public. The state government has the magic number (support of 145-plus MLAs). People should not make such comments.” The Maharashtra assembly has a strength of 288 and support of at least 145 MLAs is required by a party or coalition to form a government.

Replying to questions on the adjudication of the disqualification pleas pending before him, the speaker stated, “I am planning to complete the hearings and take a decision within the time frame given by the Supreme Court. I am taking care not to affect the principles of natural justice. I will decide on the disqualification of (Shiv Sena) MLAs at an appropriate time.” 

The Supreme Court has directed the assembly speaker to decide the cross-petitions filed by the rival factions of the Shiv Sena seeking disqualification of each other’s MLAs on or before December 31. One of the pleas seeks disqualification of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the MLAs who backed him during the rebellion against the president of the undivided Shiv Sena and then-CM Uddhav Thackeray last year.

Narwekar hit back at Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former state minister Aaditya Thackeray over his comments on violating anti-defection laws.

“The assembly speaker will decide whether or not there has been any violation of the anti-defection laws. Thackeray should not make any comments about it. If violation has taken place, I will take an appropriate decision. I can assure the people of the state that I will not take any wrong decision,” he asserted.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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