NEW DELHI: Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Monday won the floor test in the state assembly. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it.
Speaker Rahul Narvekar announced that the trust vote has been carried by a majority vote. After the death of a Shiv Sena MLA recently, the current strength of the assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.
“I was ridiculed for saying me ‘Punha Yein’ (I will return) , I have returned, but not alone, I have come with Eknathji Shinde,” Devendra Fadnavis said while thanking the MLAs for their support.
Before the Maharashtra assembly elections in 2019, Fadnavis had said, “Me punha yein” (I will return), which had evoked many social media memes.
After the polls, the Shiv Sena snapped ties with the BJP over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post. The Sena had then tied-up with the NCP and Congress to form government.
Speaking in the House on Monday, Fadnavis said, “I have been trolled severely for my remark that ‘I will return’. I am going to take revenge against the trolls by forgiving them.”
He also said when some MLAs were voting (during the floor test), members from the opposition benches shouted “ED, ED”.
“It is true the new government is formed by ED, which stands for Eknath and Devendra,” the BJP leader remarked.
Without taking the name of former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis claimed Maharashtra witnessed a “deficit of leadership availability” in the last few years.
“But, there are two leaders in the House (Shinde and himself), who will always be available for people,” Fadnavis said.
“I will be standing behind Eknath Shinde with my full force. There will be no power struggle between us, Fadnavis said.
“We thank the MLA’s who voted for us, but, I also want to thank those opposition MLAs who stayed away from the voting to ensure we have a wide majority,” said Fadnavis.
Eknath Shine is one leader who works 24X7. I sometimes ask him when he eats or rests. Shinde is a true Shiv Sainik. He has imbibied the value of humanity from Sena leader Anand Dighe, Fadnavis said.