Mumbai: Being unable to garner enough votes after Devendra Fadnavis was hurriedly sworn in as chief minister in a rush-rush, hush-hush in the early hours of November 23, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suddenly begun recalling constitutional guidelines.
On Saturday, BJP projected a completely opposite image of themselves as they walked out of a special Legislative Assembly session alleging the procedure was 'unconstitutional'.
Immediately after the session began, there was an uproar from the BJP bench and former CM Fadnavis claimed the house decorum was not being followed. He questioned why the session had begun without the national anthem or “Vande Mataram” song.
Fadnavis also accused Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress of flouting norms of the house, as the trust vote was conducted with the headcount of members instead of the secret ballot. Furthermore, Fadnavis also called the swearing-in ceremony of new CM Uddhav Thackeray and the six cabinet ministers as illegal.
Responding to it, the pro-tem Speaker, Dilip Walse Patil asserted the session was held following the orders of the Supreme Court. He further added that the Supreme Court had ordered to conduct the voting by headcount of members to maintain transparency and to curtail unlawful acts of horse-trading.
However paying no heed to the Speaker, BJP leaders who initially questioned the decorum of the house, rushed to the Speaker's well and shouted slogans. He stood up and reminded BJP legislators of the rule that once the Speaker stands, they were expected to sit. Instead, BJP legislators shouted slogans, “Dadagiri nahin chalegi” and eventually walked out of the Assembly. They rushed to the steps and then went to speak to the media in their enclosure.
Speaking to media persons, Fadnavis said they will boycott the entire session. “We will go to Raj Bhavan and submit a letter to the Governor urging him to suspend proceedings of the house,” said Fadnavis. He added that the session was unconstitutional and appointment of the pro-tem Speaker was illegal.
In fact, after the BJP walked out, the Speaker asked to lock the doors of the lower house and the Thackeray-led government won the trust vote by an absolute majority of 169 votes.
Meanwhile, MVA has appointed Nana Patole, of Congress, as Speaker of the Assembly. Patole, who was originally from BJP, resigned from the party in 2017. He later moved to Congress in 2018 and won in the recent state elections from Sakoli constituency. Patole is from Vidarbha region and is considered a formidable opponent to take on Fadnavis, who is from Nagpur. Their rivalry is well known in political circles and many believe that Patole can call the shots in Assembly as the Speaker.
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