Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting with his cabinet colleagues today evening – on the eve of the Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra assembly which begins Monday. The government needs to formulate a strategy for the session where the opposition BJP is expected to challenge it on multiple issues including matter of former minister Anil Deshmukh and reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local bodies.
The assembly will also have to pick a new Speaker as former Speaker Nana Patole resigned and became the state Congress president. While the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has the numbers, the alliance members are keeping a close watch on the BJP.
The Congress was given the Speaker's post in a power-sharing arrangement when the alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress formed the government in November 2019.
The assembly will also have to pick a new Speaker as former Speaker Nana Patole resigned and became the state Congress president. While the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has the numbers, the alliance members are keeping a close watch on the BJP, which wants its own Speaker.
Devendra Fadnavis, leader of opposition, said, "Let the MVA make their decision on the election. We will disclose our strategy after the election is announced."
For the MVA, it has to prove it has the same numbers as it had during the confidence vote in the Assembly after coming to power.
During the confidence vote in November 2019, the MVA alliance had polled 169 votes. The BJP had 114 collectively, out of which 105 were the BJP MLAs. The legislative assembly is a 288-member strong body.
The MVA has also reached out to independents to enhance its tally from 2019. The Congress is down one seat after one of its MLAs died recently.
Maharashtra has had a tradition of electing the speaker unopposed as it is a constitutional post and the BJP is unlikely to field a candidate.