NEW DELHI: The BJP is hoping that with the ‘Damocles’ sword of elections’ hanging, scores of MLAs from the Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would cross over during the trust vote on the floor of the Maharashtra Assembly.
BJP leaders remained unfazed with NCP strongman Sharad Pawar pulling away most of the MLAs of his party.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would come unscathed during the voting, they asserted.
“There are scores of miffed legislators in the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP. The BJP will get their support at the right time. No legislator in Maharashtra wants to face elections, and they know it very well that only the BJP-led government can provide a stable government in the state,” said a senior BJP functionary.
BJP chief Amit Shah and his trusted lieutenant Bhupendra Yadav, the national general secretary, are learned to be keeping a close watch on Maharashtra.
The BJP leaders claimed that the possibility of abstention by some of the MLAs from the Opposition camp is also not ruled out even while “they’re held captive at the hotels, and guarded round the clock”.
The strength of the Assembly will come down if some of the MLAs manage to remain absent during the floor test.
The BJP also claimed that the Speaker, who would be elected by the House before the floor test, would play a crucial role during the trust vote.
“The NCP legislative party leader is still Ajit Pawar, and he hasn’t yet resigned from the post. This aspect will have a key bearing on the fate of the trust vote,” said a BJP leader, adding that the party is taking special care in choosing the legislator for the post of Speaker in states where people have given a split mandate.
Another senior BJP leader claimed that the Fadnavis-led government was the most logical and politically acceptable dispensation to ensure stability in the state.
“The chief minister is from the senior alliance partner and the deputy chief minister is from the junior partner. Had it been vice- versa, the government would have fallen any time. The MLAs in the three parties, besides Independents, would weigh this high in their decision on the trust vote,” added the BJP leader.
Party leaders remained confident that the party would comfortably cross the halfway mark.