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Ajit Pawar effect: Over 200 MLAs support Maha govt

By Nikhil Deshmukh
July 03, 2023 19:11 IST
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A unique scenario is emerging for the first time after the last 51 years as the number of MLAs from various parties backing the Maharashtra government has prima facie reached 200, post the induction of Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar in the state cabinet.

IMAGE: Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais with CM Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis during the swearing-in ceremony of Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the second deputy CM and eight MLAs as the state ministers, at Raj Bhavan, in Mumbai on Sunday, July 2, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

The last time when more than 200 MLAs were part of the state government was in 1972, but at that time all the 222 legislators belonged to Congress. Also, the strength of the House was 270 at that time, a former state legislature official said on Monday citing data.

The exact number of MLAs supporting Ajit Pawar, who took oath as deputy chief minister on Sunday, is not known yet.

However, Ajit Pawar's loyalist and MLC Amol Mitkari claimed the support of 36 (out of 53) MLAs.

"More MLAs are extending their support to Ajit Pawar. We are still part of the Nationalist Congress Party. We have not defected,” Mitkari claimed.


If Mitkari's claim on the support of 36 legislators is to be taken at face value, the total number of MLAs, including those of Shiv Sena and BJP, supporting the state government goes up to 181.

In the 288-member House, the BJP has 105 MLAs and Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde 40. The Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government is also supported by three MLAs of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, two of Prahar JanShakti Party, 13 Independents, and one legislator each belonging to Rashtriya Samaj Party, and Jan Surajya Shakri.

Cumulatively, the number of MLAs supporting the government stands at 201.

"Since 1990, not a single political party has managed to win 145 seats (majority mark) in the 288-member Legislative Assembly. In 1972, the Congress won 222 seats when the total strength of the Lower House was 270," said the former principal secretary of Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan Anant Kalse.

The strength of the House increased to 288 ahead of the 1978 assembly elections. In 1980, Congress won 186 seats and 161 in 1985.

After a long gap, the BJP came close to forming a government on its own strength when it won 122 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections. But the party couldn't repeat its performance in 2019 polls and settled at 105 seats.

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Nikhil Deshmukh
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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