After the Eknath Shinde government leapt past the majority mark, former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar addressed the Vidhan Sabha on Monday where he remarked that his sucessor Devendra Fadnavis was lacking 'enthusiasm' in his congratulatory speech today. After Fadnavis lauded Eknath Shinde for his rise from a small Shiv Sena worker to the Chief Ministerial position, Pawar questioned why the BJP in its own Cabinet had given only one Ministry to the leader if he was indeed so capable.
"Devendra ji does not seem energetic today. He did not deliver his speech with his daily enthusiasm. In the last 2 and a half years, Devendra ji became the CM, then the Leader of Opposition then the Deputy CM. Power comes and goes. I always say this but Devendra Fadnavis, I was listening to your speech very closely. One thing I did not know was that you were supporting Eknath Shinde so much," jibed Ajit Pawar.
"When BJP-Shiv Sena was in power, why was Eknath Shinde given just 1 ministry? Why did Fadnavis not give a strong ministry to Eknath ji why just the Road Development Corporation account? If he was capable enough, then why was just one Ministry which has nothing to do with the public given?" he questioned.
Asserting that Maharashtra would also have similar questions he said, "All you (Shinde) had to do was build a highway, build a prosperous highway, build a tunnel, build a coastal road. Which department is related to the people? As the Chief Minister, did you not think I have the right, I'll give him another Ministry? This should be considered somewhere."
In a massive setback for Uddhav Thackeray, the newly sworn-in Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra won the vote of confidence on Monday. Apart from MLAs of BJP, Shiv Sena, smaller parties and Independents, the ruling coalition also secured the votes of Uddhav camp MLA Santosh Bangar and PWPI legislator Shyamsundar Shinde. This implies that 40 out of 55 Sena MLAs are now with the government.
On the other hand, the opposition secured only 99 votes- 8 less than what it bagged in the Speaker's election a day earlier. Meanwhile, 2 Samajwadi Party MLAs- Abu Asim Azmi and Rais Shaikh and AIMIM MLA Shah Faruque Anwar abstained once again.