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“You’re in a minority,” says Governor to Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, informing him of the trust vote due tomorrow. Mr Thackeray has challenged the decision in Supreme Court, which will hear it at 5 pm.

In his letter, Mr Koshyari said he has received letters from the BJP and others saying the government is now a minority. “It is clear that a majority of the Shiv Sena MLAs have given a clear indication that they intend to exit from the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government… and you are trying to win over your MLAs and cadre by means which are not democratic,” the Governor wrote.

“I am therefore confident that you and your Government has lost the trust of the House and the Government is in minority,” the letter read.

The test of strength will be telecast live and the proceedings will be recorded on camera by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat through an independent agency, the Governor said. “In order to ensure free and fair voting, it shall be conducted by asking members to rise in their seats for the purpose of counting votes…” Mr Koshyari said.

The Governor ordered the test of strength a day after BJP leaders, led by Devendra Fadnavis, met him and contended that the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition has lost majority.

Mr Thackeray approached the Supreme Court earlier today, challenging the Governor’s decision and calling it illegal. The 16 rebel MLAs, he contended, are yet to respond on their possible disqualification and the matter is pending in court.

The top court will hear his petition shortly.

The Team Thackeray had asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify 16 MLAs including Mr Shinde, after which the rebel camp approached the Supreme Court, calling the move illegal.

The court gave the rebel Sena MLAs time until July 12 to respond to the notices sent under the anti-defection law.

The Shiv Sena rebels, who have ignored Mr Thackeray’s appeals to return, are waiting for the Court’s decision to decide on their next move. In case of a trust vote tomorrow, they will move close to Mumbai. The alternate destination is Goa – more than 500 km from Mumbai.

Rebel chief Eknath Shinde has claimed he has the support of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs, and another group of Independents. Their exit will lead to immediate collapse of the government led by Mr Thackeray which came to power in 2019.