Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ 13-day-old minority Government managed to win a vote of confidence motion on Wednesday through a voice vote, with the NCP abstaining from voting. However, the course of events drew sharp criticism from the Congress and Shiv Sena, who accused the Government of not adhering to constitutional methods.

BJP’s former ally Shiv Sena, which now sits in the Opposition, accused the Government of failing to prove its majority on the floor of the House. It said the Assembly Speaker had acted in a partisan manner and not followed constitutional methods while presiding over the confidence motion.

On Wednesday, after BJP MLA from Aurangabad Haribhau Bagde was elected as Speaker of the Assembly, a one-line motion was moved by BJPs member Ashish Shelar, seeking vote of confidence in the Government.

Ayes and Noes

The motion was declared passed by the Speaker after the ‘Ayes’ and ‘Noes’. But as soon as it was passed the Shiv Sena and Congress sought the ‘poll method’, wherein a headcount is taken of those supporting the motion and those opposing it.

The poll method is an alternative to voice votes. However, this demand was not accepted by the Speaker, who said the request ought to have come in earlier.

Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena, who was declared as the Leader of Opposition, criticised the “throttling of democracy” by the BJP. “It is a deception on the people of Maharashtra but Shiv Sena will not allow any wrong decision to be passed in the Assembly. The Assembly must run as per constitutional rules but here they are being destroyed. Our party had sought a poll but the trust vote was passed by voice vote,” he said.

Before the vote of confidence was called for the Speaker was unanimously elected by the Assembly. The Sena and the Congress withdrew their candidates.