“Next Time We’ll Have 200 MLAs”: Eknath Shinde On Next Assembly Polls

Eknath Shinde on Monday won the crucial trust vote in the state Assembly. (File)


Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday hit back at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar who raised doubts over the survival of the Shinde-Fadnavis government and asserted that his government will complete his term, adding that in alliance with the BJP, they will win 200 seats in the next Assembly polls.

When asked about the cabinet expansion, he said, “We will see about the cabinet expansion.”

“Sharad Pawar is a big leader, but whatever he says is just the opposite of fact. So we will complete 2.5 years of governance; next time, we’ll have 200 MLAs, 100 ours and 100 BJP’s,” Mr Shinde said at a press conference soon after winning the crucial floor test in the state Assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House.

The Chief Minister went ahead and warned the Uddhav Thackeray group of action for violating their whip, the chief minister said, “They (Uddhav Thackeray camp) are regularly going to Courts and even today went to Supreme Court. Bharat Gogawale is our whip and I am the legislative party leader. Action will be taken against those who violated our whip.”

“All MLAs who voted in our favour today will support Droupadi Murmu (NDA’s candidate) in Presidential polls…,” he said on the upcoming presidential polls that are scheduled to be held on July 18.

Mr Shinde on Thursday took oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Along with him, Devendra Fadnavis also took oath as deputy chief minister of the state. Both the leaders were administered the oath of service by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. However, no other cabinet member took oath on that day.

Meanwhile, Mr Shinde today won the crucial trust vote in the state Assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it. Three legislators abstained from voting, while 21 legislators, including Congress’s Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar, were absent.

Mr Shinde hailed the victory of his faction in the trust vote of the Maharashtra Assembly. Speaking in the Assembly today, he said, “I thank Devendra Fadnavis ji for giving me a chance to work as a minister in the previous government… I could work on Samruddhi Mahamarg project. He was to give the Deputy CM post to Shiv Sena also in 2019.”

“We are Shivsainiks and we will always be Shivsainiks of Balasaheb and Anand Dighe. I want to remind you who was there and who got Balasaheb’s voting banned for six years,” the Maharashtra Chief Minister said in the Assembly.

“Initially, I was supposed to be made the Chief Minister in the MVA government… But later Ajit Dada (Ajit Pawar) or someone said that I should not be made the Chief Minister. I had no problem and I told Uddhav ji to go ahead, and that I was with him. I never eyed that post,” Mr Shinde said in Assembly.

Mr Shinde on Monday said the state government will reduce value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. A decision to reduce VAT on fuel will be taken in the state Cabinet, Shinde informed the Legislative House, while replying to a debate after he won the floor test.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)