Maharashtra Assembly session from today; four-day-old Shiv Sena-BJP government to face floor test on 4 July

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Mumbai: The four-day old Shiv Sena-BJP government will face the floor test on 4 July during the special two-day session of the Legislative Assembly beginning on Sunday.

The election to the post of the Speaker of the House will be held Sunday after the House proceedings begin at 11 am, an official said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-camp's MLAs, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others held a meeting on Saturday night after the legislators returned to Mumbai.

The meeting came ahead of the first day of the Maharashtra Assembly session. A new speaker will also be elected today to take care of the proceedings and the floor test will be held on 4 July.

Sena MLA and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Rajan Salvi is the candidate of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine for the Speaker's election. He is pitted against first-time BJP legislator Rahul Narvekar.

Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who support Shinde returned to Mumbai from Goa on Saturday evening on the eve of the Assembly session, and were lodged in a luxury hotel in south Mumbai, where Vidhan Bhavan, venue of the floor test, is located.

This comes after Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday expelled Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the party for indulging in "anti-party activities".

"In exercise of powers vested in me as Shiv Sena party president, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation," Thackeray wrote in a letter addressed to the Maharashtra CM, who had led a faction of rebel Sena MLAs.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar claimed that Narhari Zirwal, the deputy Speaker, can perform officiating Speaker's duties even though a no-confidence motion is pending against him. The post of Speaker is vacant since February last year after Nana Patole of Congress quit.

As many as 50 MLAs who support Shinde, including 39 rebel legislators of the Shiv Sena, on Saturday evening flew to Mumbai from Goa by a chartered flight. Shinde, who had flown to Goa in the morning, accompanied them back.

Shinde has the support of 10 legislators of smaller parties and independents and 106 MLAs of the BJP in the 288-member House.

Following is the party position in the Assembly: Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, Samajwadi Party 2, AIMIM 2, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, MNS 1, CPI (M) 1, PWP 1, Swambhimani Paksha 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, and Independents 13.

There is a vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May.

Two NCP members – Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal – have tested COVID-19 positive, while two other party legislators – Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik – are currently in jail.

With inputs from ANI

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Maharashtra Assembly session from today; four-day-old Shiv Sena-BJP government to face floor test on 4 July
Maharashtra Assembly session from today; four-day-old Shiv Sena-BJP government to face floor test on 4 July
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