Maha Speaker polls: Opposition stood no chance against the might of BJP-Shinde combine

The result from the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker election on Sunday showed the Opposition did not have any chance against the BJP-Shinde alliance.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (PTI Photo)

First-time BJP legislator Rahul Narwekar was elected as the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker on Sunday. Narwekar got 164 votes in the Assembly.

He was fielded against Sena MLA and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Rajan Salvi, who was the candidate of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine for the Speaker’s election.

A detailed breakdown of the numbers reveals that the Opposition did not stand a chance against the BJP-Shinde alliance. This means that even if all 39 rebel Sena MLAs were disqualified, the Opposition would have lost regardless.

The Maharashtra Assembly has a total of 288 members. There is a vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke last month. This means the tipping scale was at 144.

Narwekar won by 164 votes on Sunday. However, even if all 39 rebel Sena MLAs had been disqualified from voting, the numbers would still have stood at 125 for the BJP-Shinde alliance.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) abstained from voting against BJP candidate Narwekar. Both its MLAs, Abu Azmi and Raees Shaikh kept sitting during the head count. Among the MLAs who were absent during the election for the Speaker, seven are from the NCP, two are from the BJP, one Congress MLA and one AIMIM MLA.

In the 288-member House, 10 lawmakers from smaller parties and independents, as well as 106 BJP MLAs, support Eknath Shinde. Shiv Sena has 55 seats, NCP has 53, Congress has 44, BJP has 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi has 3, Samajwadi has 2, AIMIM has 2, Prahar Janshakti has 1, CPI (M) has 1, PWP has 1, Swambhimani Paksha has 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha has 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party has 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party.

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