Even as the Congress and NCP squabble over key posts in the Maharashtra Legislature after Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde resigned as the Leader of Opposition, Shiv Sena on Saturday said it would be unfair to deny LoP status to Congress.
Both Congress and the NCP are eyeing the post of Leader of Opposition and Council chairman in the state Assembly, after Shiv Sena decided to bury its differences with the BJP and became a part of the state government.
“As per laws, the party with the second largest number of MLAs can stake claim for LoP post in the Assembly. The question is not if 5 MLAs of Congress have been disqualified or not. But if you (NCP) use this disqualification as a tool to stake your claim for the LoP, it will be unfair to Congress,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
Sena said that the NCP has been hammered to the fourth position in the state post the October Assembly elections, and hence the party should not interfere in politics anymore.
“This party (NCP) which provided outside support to the BJP to stay close to power is now eyeing the LoP’s post. Interfering in other’s matters is an old habit of the party, but they should stop it now and realise they have been thrown to the fourth position by people,” it further said.
NCP, which had declared its outside support to the BJP government in Maharashtra, had on December 3 said it would discuss the “procedure” for claiming the post of Leader of Opposition and also of the Council chairman, when Sena was the principal opposition party.
However, NCP’s former ally Congress has junked the Sharad Pawar-led party’s claim, saying it is short of the required numbers for the post.
Congress leader Shivajirao Deshmukh is the incumbent Chairman of the Legislative Council.
If NCP stakes claim the post of Chairman, it will have to bring a no-confidence motion against him as per the procedure.
Congress has 42, while the NCP has 41 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.