Explanation: Playing with numbers, possible scenarios and more as crisis in Maharashtra approaches tipping point

The crisis for the Shiv Sena and the ruling alliance in Maharashtra came at a moment of truth when photographs showed a large section of dissident lawmakers loyal to Eknat Shinde’s rebel faction posing for the camera in a drastic show of strength. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who came to power after the Shiv Sena ditched her longtime ally the Bharatiya Janata Party to work with NCP rivals and the Congress to form a government, is facing an imminent threat to her position as chief minister, as well as the party slipping away. from his authority. Arms.

With Shiv Sena MLA “rebel” Eknat Shinde claiming support from over 40 Sena MLAs and 7-8 independent legislators, it seems likely that Thackeray’s government may soon resign. Adding to the insult, several reports claimed that only 13 MLAs were present at the meeting called by Thackeray today. The letter is possibly on the wall for the MVA in a scenario where the government does not have a simple majority, which is 50% of the House’s strength plus one, and cannot prove it on the floor of the House. .

With two PNK leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik in jail, and with the death of Shiv Sen MLA Ramesh Latke earlier this year, the power of the House of Representatives would drop to 285. If jailed PNK leaders are allowed to vote, the number is 287. In that case, the majority estimate will be 287/2 +1, which is equal to 144.

The numbers as they are now:

BDP – 106
Others – 13
MNS – 1
Defectors – 40 + 7 or 8 = 47 or 48.
Total = 167/168, majority score – 144

NKP – 54
Congress – 44
Shiv Sena – 55-40 = 15
BVA – 3
SP – 2
RAP – 2
INDEPENDENT – 8 – 7 or 8 = 0 or 1
Total = 120/121

With the support of 40 MLA Shiv Sena, Eknat Shinde appears to be intent on sidestepping the anti-desertion law, which under this scenario would require the support of at least 37 MLA Shiv Sena for Shinde. Shinde will now be able to claim his own faction or can merge with the BJP. On the other hand, the BJP can also support the Shinde faction and form a state government together.

The way forward

Feeling he doesn’t like the numbers, Uddhav Thackeray may decide to resign or get a vote of confidence on the Assembly floor to show that he still shares the legislature’s confidence, otherwise he and his cabinet must resign. . If more than one bid leader bids, the governor will ask for a comprehensive gender test. In the event that both factions have the same number, Deputy Speaker Nahari Zirwal, in the absence of a permanent speaker in the Maharashtra Assembly, will have the final authority and his vote may also be the deciding factor. Zirwal belongs to NCP MVA.

Under the provisions of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, the Governor has the power to dissolve the Assembly at his discretion when the state cabinet does not have a majority. In the event that neither party can win a majority in the House of Representatives, a presidential rule will be imposed, which at the moment seems unlikely.

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