The no-confidence motion against the Speaker in the state Legislative Assembly, Haribhau Bagde, will not be taken up for voting in the ongoing Budget Session. The Opposition had mooted the motion in the Budget Session that commenced on February 26. The Budget Session will end on March 28.
A source said: “The state government is talking to the leaders of the Congress and the NCP urging them not to press the no-confidence against the Speaker, which is the highest constitutional authority. It would unnecessary invite embarrassment to the working of the Maharashtra Assembly.”
Officially, Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP leader Jayant Patil pressed the no-confidence a fortnight ago. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had dismissed the demand and said: “At an appropriate time, appropriate decision would be taken.”
A senior Congress leader said: “If we insist on voting on the motion against the Speaker, the Opposition will face defeat, as the ruling Shiv Sena and BJP, along with the Independents, have more numbers in the state Assembly.” It would also sully the image of the Assembly, he added.
Of the total 288 seats in the Assembly, BJP with 122 seats and the Shiv Sena with 63, together outnumber the Congress tally of 42 and NCP’s 41 seats. The Independents and smaller parties have the remaining 20 seats.
An NCP insider said: “Our objective was to make a point, which we have.”
A senior minister who did not want to be named said: “This is not the first time that a proposal against the Speaker has been mooted by Opposition parties.” While recalling the recent past, he said: “When the BJP was in the Opposition, it also planned a proposal against the then Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil.”
Walse-Patil had then refused to conduct the proceedings. Later, senior BJP leaders requested him to return.
A source in the Congress-NCP said: “Ideally, after bringing the no-confidence motion, we should have stayed away from work. But since we continued to function under the Speaker against whom we moved a no-confidence, it would defeat that very objective.”
The NCP leaders argued that they should be given their legitimate rights. Party leader Jayant Patil said: “I had repeatedly raised my hand and wanted to speak in the Assembly. But it was adjourned for the day amidst uproar, denying me my right.”