Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked the Maharashtra Legislature Secretary to hold a floor test of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government at 11 am on Thursday.
The letter comes amid the rebellion in the ruling Shiv Sena by senior minister Eknath Shinde, who has been camping in Guwahati since last week with majority of party legislators and several independent MLAs, which has pushed the government led by Thackeray, who is also the Sena president, into a crisis.
In his letter sent to Maharashtra Legislature's Principal Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat, Koshyari, said, "A special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (legislative Assembly) shall be summoned on June 30 (Thursday) at 11 am with the only agenda of a trust vote against the chief minister, and the proceedings shall be concluded in any case by 5 pm."
"The proceedings of the House shall be telecast live and appropriate arrangements for the same shall be made," the letter said.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had on Tuesday night met the governor and requested him to ask the Thackeray-led government to prove its majority in the Assembly, claiming that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition dispensation seemed to be in minority as 39 Sena MLAs who belong to the Shinde faction have said they do not support it.
MVA will have to move SC against floor test: Prithviraj Chavan
Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said Maharashtra's ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will have to move the Supreme Court against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's letter mandating the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation to face a floor test on June 30.
Talking to PTI, Chavan said the apex court has maintained status quo over the case till July 11.
He was referring to Supreme Court's move on Monday of keeping in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly till July 11.
"The MVA will have to move the apex court against the governor's letter for a floor test. The deputy speaker (of the Assembly) will have to recognise the split in the Shiv Sena legislature party. The rebel MLAs have to give a letter that they have the support of the two-thirds of the legislature party and that they have merged with another party," he said.
Chavan said if the rebels vote against the confidence motion moved by the MVA government, then they stand to be disqualified.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday convened a meeting of the MVA leaders to discuss the situation arising out of the governor's letter.
Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said he will reach Mumbai on Thursday for the floor test against the beleaguered Sena-NCP-Congress government.
SC to hear MVA plea at 5 pm today
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear at 5 pm the plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu challenging the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.
A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala took note of submissions of senior advocate A M Singhvi that an urgent hearing was needed in view of the decision taken by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asking the MVA government to prove majority at 11 am on Thursday.
"We will keep at 5 pm. Please make sure that paper books are supplied by 3 pm to parties concerned," the bench said.
Singhvi said the floor test cannot include names which are "stigmatised".