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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray faces a floor test tomorrow

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Governor has asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove majority tomorrow. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to the Assembly Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat calling for a special session at 11 am for Mr Thackeray to prove his majority, a week after nearly 40 MLAs rebelled against him.

Team Thackeray is likely to go to the Supreme Court against the demand to prove majority.

“How can a floor test be asked for when the disqualification of 16 MLA has deferred by the Supreme Court till 11th July? How can these MLAs participate in the floor test till their disqualification status not decided and the other matters for which notice sent is sub judice?” Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted. “This would be contempt of court proceedings if floor test conducted despite the matter not getting final hearing in the SC [Supreme Court],” she said.

The rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, who are staying at a five-star hotel in Assam’s Guwahati, will have return to Mumbai to participate in the trust vote.

Mr Shinde and some of the rebels went to a temple this morning in Assam’s main city by the Brahmaputra River where he told reporters he would return to Mumbai tomorrow.

Team Thackeray had asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify 16 MLAs including Mr Shinde.

“The Leader of Opposition…personally visited me…I was briefed about the political situation in the state and thereafter the Leader of Opposition submitted a letter stating that Chief Minister has lost the majority in Vidhan Sabha,” the Governor said in the letter.

The test of majority 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.

Mr Shinde claims he has the support of nearly 50 MLAs, some 40 of them from the Shiv Sena.

The majority mark currently stands at 144 in the 287-member assembly. The ruling alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, has 152 MLAs. The state government will shrink to minority without the nearly 40 rebel MLAs.