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    Maharashtra floor test highlights: Decision to reduce VAT on fuel soon, announces Eknath Shinde; Ajit Pawar named Leader of Opposition

    Maharashtra floor test highlights: Decision to reduce VAT on fuel soon, announces Eknath Shinde; Ajit Pawar named Leader of Opposition

    Maharashtra floor test highlights: Decision to reduce VAT on fuel soon, announces Eknath Shinde; Ajit Pawar named Leader of Opposition
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    Maharashtra politics live updates: The Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party government won the floor test today during the special two-day session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. On Sunday, BJP MLA Rahul Narvekar was elected as the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly. Narvekar has rejected the appointment of Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary as the group leader of the legislative unit of the party and has reinstated Shinde as Shiv Sena legislature party leader. The development comes as a major setback to the Thackeray faction comprising 16 MLAs who will be bound by the whip to be issued by Bharat Gogawale for the trust vote. If these 16 MLAs refuse to follow the whip, they face disqualification. Reacting to the development, Shiv Sena chief MP Arvind Sawant said his party will challenge this "unconstitutional" decision in court. Shinde has the support of 10 legislators of smaller parties and independents and 106 MLAs of the BJP in the 288-member House. Following is the party position in the Assembly: Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, Samajwadi Party 2, AIMIM 2, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, MNS 1, CPI (M) 1, PWP 1, Swambhimani Paksha 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, and Independents 13. There is a vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May. Two NCP members - Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal - have tested COVID-19 positive, while two other party legislators - Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik - are currently in jail.

    Live Updates

    Thank you for joining our coverage of the Maharashtra floor test. We will now wrap the blog. Good night.

    Shinde directs Raigad and Ratnagiri collectors to take precautions against heavy rain

    CM Eknath Shinde directs the district collectors of Raigad and Ratnagiri to take precaustions in view of the heavy rains there. Some rivers have reached the warning level: Chief Minister's Office

    Eknath Shinde tweets photos of his visit to Balasaheb Thackeray's memorial

    Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and MLAs visit Hutatma Smarak

    Did not give Aaditya Thackeray's name for disqualification: Bharat Gogawale

    "We have given notices to disqualify all the MLAs who defied our whip. We have not given Aaditya Thackeray's name due to our respect for Balasaheb Thackeray. The CM will take a call on this," said Shiv Sena chief whip Bharat Gogawale

    Eknath Shinde and MLAs at Balasaheb Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park

    CM Eknath Shinde congratulates Sharad Pawar

    "Congratulations and best wishes to NCP leader Ajit Pawar for being named the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly," tweeted CM Eknath Shinde. 

    CM Eknath Shinde speaks:

    On development in the state: "We will cut VAT on petroleum to provide relief to the people of the state. When the Central government comes with any state government, the development speed increases multifold in that state. We will surely get benefity from Devendra Fadnavis' experience."

    On cabinet expansion and Uddhav Thackeray-led camp: "We will see about cabinet expansion. The Uddhav Thackeray camp are regularly going to courts and even today went to the Supreme Court. Bharat Gogawale is our Whip and I am the legislative party leader. Action will be taken against those who violated our Whip."

    On Presidential polls: "All the MLAs who voted in our favour today will support Draupadi Murmu in the Presidential polls. Sharad Pawar is a big leader, but whatever he says is just the opposite of the fact. We will complete two-and-a-half years of governance. Next time, we will have 200 MLAs, 100 ours and 100 BJPs."

    Fadnavis on Ajit Pawar becoming the Leader of Opposition

    Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis' office's official Twitter handle tweeted that he congratulated Ajit Pawar on being named the Leader of Opposition. He said Pawar is a free-spirited and kind-hearted person. Discipline and punctuality are his special qualities. He has made his mark everywhere from co-operation to politics, Fadnavis said. 

    Rs21 crore for development of Hirkani village: CM Eknath Shinde

    CM Eknath Shinde took to Twitter to announce Rs21 crore for the overall development of the Hirkani village at the foothills of Raigad. In another tweet, he said the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance aims to make Maharashtra a farmer suicide-free state

    NCP's Ajit Pawar named Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly. NCP Legislative party leader Jayant Patil proposed and it was approved by the Assembly.

    CM Eknath Shinde announces the state will take a decision to reduce VAT on fuel soon.  A decision will be taken by the state cabinet.

    Also read | Who is Eknath Shinde – the Sena leader at the centre of Maharashtra’s political crisis?

    Maharashtra urban development minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde pushed the ruling Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA) government into a political crisis on Tuesday after he, along with 10 other MLAs moved to a hotel in Gujarat's Surat. 14 other MLAs have also turned rebels, according to reports. Shinde is expected to address the media today, while Congress and Shiv Sena have been holding meetings to assess the situation.

    CM Eknath Shinde addresses Maharashtra Assembly after winning the trust vote

    He says:

    - Will take Balasaheb Thackeray's legacy forward

    - MLAs have shown faith in me

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

    Maharashtra Congress-in-charge HK Patil refutes reports of Congress pulling out of MVA alliance

    "I saw some reports stating Congress likely to pull out of the MVA alliance in Maharashtra. It is false. Congress has neither discussed this nor decided on anything. The rumours are far away from the truth. MVA alliance is stable," says Patil.

    Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

    Also read | Devendra Fadnavis said in 2019 that he'll be back and does it

    Uddhav Thackeray tendered his resignation as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Wednesday and with this stage is set for Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis to start his third stint as the chief of the state. But in a deft move, BJP gave the CM's post to Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde. Before the announcement that Shinde would be sworn in as the next Chief Minister, it was widely speculated that Fadnavis would replace the outgoing CM Uddhav Thackeray.

    A total of 22 MLAs remained absent during the process 

    This includes 10 Congress MLAs - Jitesh Antapurkar, Zeeshan Siddique, Praniti Shinde, Ashok Chavan, Vijay Wadettiwar, Dhiraj Deshmukh, Kunal Patil, Raju Awale, Mohanrao Hambarde and Shirish Chaudhari.

    Also read | Eknath Shinde fourth Maharashtra CM hailing from Satara

    Eknath Shinde on Thursday became the fourth chief minister of Maharashtra hailing from Satara district. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who himself has roots in the western Maharashtra district, noted this in a tweet congratulating Shinde. While Shinde cut his teeth as a Shiv Sena leader in Thane near Mumbai, he hails from Dare Tamb village, 60km from Satara city. Before him, the state had three chief ministers from the district — Yashwantrao Chavan (the first CM of the state), Babasaheb Bhosale and Prithviraj Chavan.

    Also read | Fadnavis is fourth former Maharashtra CM to accept junior post in another government

    Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday became the fourth Maharashtra politician who accepted a junior position in a government after having served as chief minister. Fadnavis, earlier in the day, made a stunning announcement that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde would be sworn in as the new chief minister following the collapse of the Uddhav Thackery government, and he himself would not be part of the ministry. But later BJP chief JP Nadda said Fadnavis would be part of the government and eventually Fadnavis took oath as Shinde’s deputy. Fadnavis was chief minister for full five years from 2014 to 2019. After the 2019 Assembly elections, as the Sena fell out with the BJP, Fadnavis became chief minister again with the support of a group of NCP MLAs led by Ajit Pawar, but had to resign within three days as they could not muster the numbers.

    Also read | Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde wins floor test in just 23 minutes

    Maharashtra's newest Chief Minister Eknath Shinde won the floor test in the State Assembly on Monday in mere 23 minutes. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it. Newly-elected 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. It is reported that seven to eight top Congress leaders were absent for the floor test, leading to speculation of switching sides.

    Fadnavis says:

    - Our alliance had received the mandate but we were deliberately taken away from the majority. But with Eknath Shinde, we have once again formed our government with Shiv Sena. A true Shivsainik has been made the CM. I became the Deputy CM as per my party's command.

    - I had once said that I'll come back. But when I said that, several people mocked me. I've come back today and brought him (Eknath Shinde) along with me. I won't take revenge on people who mocked me. I'll forgive them, everything isn't taken to heart in politics.

    7-8 top Congress leaders were absent for the floor test, reports News18.

    Several MLAs of Uddhav Thackeray camp, including Aaditya Thackeray, left the House after the trust vote.

    Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis lauds Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his roaring win. 

    He says:

    - Shinde is the follower of Balasaheb Thackeray and Anand Dighe
    - Shinde has always been selfless

    Three members abstained from voting today

    The Uddhav Thackeray camp secures 99 votes

    Ekanth Shinde government crosses majority mark, wins floor test

    Another MLA, Shyamsundar Shinde, joins Eknath Shinde group just before the trust vote. 

    Head count of MLAs is underway in the Assembly. The majority mark will go down if any MLA is absent or abstain from voting.

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