Mumbai: Amid high drama, the 13-day-old Devendra Fadnavis government on Wednesday won the trust motion in the Maharashtra Assembly through a voice vote, drawing angry reactions from Shiv Sena and Congress which accused the ruling BJP of failing to prove its majority and "strangulating democracy".
A one-line motion moved by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar seeking confidence of the House in the BJP government was declared passed by voice vote even as opposition Shiv Sena and Congress insisted on a division of votes.
As the Speaker declared the motion passed after the "Ayes" and "Noes", there was a storm of protest by MLAs of Shiv Sena, which decided to claim the main opposition's space after talks with BJP over reaching a power-sharing arrangement remained deadlocked.
They rushed to the Well insisting on a division and were soon joined by Congress MLAs.
"The motion has been passed," declared Speaker Haribhau Bagde over the din.
"The issue is over. The trust vote has been passed," Bagde said as Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, who was earlier in the day accorded the status of Leader of Opposition, alleged that passing of the confidence motion by voice vote was akin to "strangling democracy".
"The House should be run as per rules and the Constitution should not be trampled upon. The new government is strangulating democracy. We sought division but the trust vote was passed by voice vote," Shinde said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party questioned the legitimacy of the BJP government minutes after it won the vote of confidence in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
Speaking to the reporters, state's former chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said, “This is an illegitimate government.”
“We condemn the Speaker's decision to not hold another vote,” Chavan added.
While criticising the newly-elected Speaker, Haribhau K Bagde, Chavan called it a “black day for Maharashtra's democracy.”
Chavan further said that his party leaders will now meet the Governor of the state and demand another round of trust vote.
Meanwhile, Chavan's Congress party colleague Manik Rao Thakre also called it a “murder of democracy” and threatened that his party MLAs won't let the Assembly function.
Alleging that the Speaker was biased towards BJP and division of votes was ruled out, Thakre said that all Congress lawmakers will go to the Governor now and demand another round of vote as proper procedure not followed in passing confidence motion by voice vote.
On the other hand, five Congress legislators were suspended by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde for two years for allegedly heckling and physically stopping Governor C Vidyasagar Rao as he entered the Vidhan Bhawan today.
Revenue minister Eknath Khadse proposed their suspension saying that the Governor had received "injuries" on his left hand during the incident.
Congress MLAs who have been suspended are Jaykumar Gore, Rahul Bondre, Abdul Sattar, Amar Kale and Virendra Jagtap.
A House panel is set to probe the incident and submit its report during the winter session of the legislature.
With Agency inputs