Mumbai: Stepping up its attack on the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government for winning the trust vote in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in a "controversial" manner, opposition Congress today said it would "expose and depose the illegal regime."
Speaking at a meeting organised by Mumbai unit of Congress here, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and state unit party president Manikrao Thakre described the incumbent BJP government as "unconstitutional" and sought resignation of the chief minister for "failing to prove majority in the House".
City unit Congress chief Janardhan Chandurkar said the party would launch a protest against the government. "All decisions being taken by it are illegal," he said.
Referring to suspension of five Congress MLAs for two years by Speaker on November 12 when the trust vote was conducted, Chavan said, "the BJP government wanted to manufacture majority by suspending Congress MLAs. Their plan is to suspend as many MLAs so that the (effective) strength of the House would come down and help them establishing their majority."
He said Fadnavis government has no right to stay in power even for a minute. "Congress' focus would be to expose and depose the ruling party from every forum available," Chavan said.
The Speaker had suspended five MLAs of Congress on the day of trust vote for allegedly manhandling state Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in Vidhan Bhavan while he was on his way to address the joint sitting of the bicameral legislature.
The incident took place when Congress MLAs were protesting against the confidence motion won by Fadnavis government through voice vote and not by the division of votes as sought by the party, and Shiv Sena.
"There was no intention to insult Governor. Security was tight and we were nowhere near the Governor," Chavan said referring to the incident in which the Governor sustained minor injury.
Criticising Fadnavis for his statement that opposition parties did not ask for a division of votes during the trust vote, Chavan alleged Congress' request to seek video recording of the proceedings of the House during the trust vote has been turned down.
"The Legislature Secretariat has refused (to hand over the footage). When we gave another letter in name of MLA Amin Patel, there has been no response so far. The government will not give as they will stand exposed," Chavan said, adding that the BJP government is in a minority as it has not yet proved its majority during the trust vote.
He also expressed lament over the Governor "not responding" to the memorandum submitted by a Congress delegation earlier on the "manner" in which the confidence vote was conducted.
"Is Governor satisfied with what happened on the floor of the House," Chavan asked.
"The unconstitutional government should either quit or the Governor should dismiss it if it does not prove its majority (again)," the ex-CM said.
Meanwhile, Thakre said the Congress would fight to uphold the democratic and Constitutional principles.
Referring to the BJP's counter that even late Vilasrao Deshmukh (former CM) had won a confidence motion through voice vote, Thakre said, "Deshmukh had won the trust motion through a voice vote because he had given a letter signed by 145 MLAs to the (then) Governor. The opposition did not seek division of votes (then) because the numbers had already been established."