Sharpening its attack on the Devendra Fadnavis government for its “manipulative” victory in the trust vote in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Shiv Sena yesterday met Governor C Vidyasagar Rao here and demanded that it should be declared a “minority” government and he should order a fresh confidence motion.
The former ally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that Fadnavis government with current strength of 10 ministers is “invalid” as it fails to fulfil the provisions of Article 164.
Senior Sena leader Diwakar Raote said they have requested the Governor to ask BJP to prove majority “or else declare it a minority government and seek a fresh trust vote.”
“The President of India has appointed Governor to uphold the Constitution. But if the government itself is unconstitutional (then) is it not his duty to take action in the interest of people?,” Raote told PTI after meeting Rao at Raj Bhavan.
The fledgling BJP government won the trust motion in the Assembly through a voice vote yesterday, drawing angry reactions from Shiv Sena and Congress which have accused the ruling BJP of failing to prove its majority and “strangulating democracy”.
Terming the Fadnavis-led government as “illegitimate” which is formed by “violating” the constitutional provisions, Raote said, “Our delegation, led by (Leader of Opposition Eknath Shinde) has reminded the governor that this (BJP) government is an invalid government as per (provisions of) constitution.
“When it has only 10 ministers, how have they fulfilled the provision of Article 164 of the constitution?,” Raote questionned.
Article 164 (1A) provides that strength of council of ministers headed by the CM cannot exceed 15 per cent of the strength of the Assembly (the total number of MLAs) but it can’t be less than 12 members either.
Besides Shinde and Raote, the delegation comprised Pratap Sarnaik, Neelam Gorhe, Sunil Prabhu, Deepak Sawant and Ajay Chowdhary.
Raote alleged that minds of people have been “muddled” by the BJP, and that the party failed to provide clarity on the total number of legislators who voted for the party during the trust vote.
The withdrawal of PPAC in July had resulted in marginal decline of tariff for the consumers, whose monthly consumption does not exceed 400 units.
PPAC is a surcharge given to the discoms to compensate variations in the market-driven fuel costs like additional costs on account of increase in coal and gas prices.
According to DERC figures, the private discoms operating in the city have a revenue gap of a whopping Rs 19,500 crore.
Official figures show that around 80-90 per cent of total revenue of discoms goes into purchasing power from central and state government owned entities through long-term power purchase agreement, at rates determined by the central and state regulators.
The city has seen a series of hike in power tariff in the past two years.
The tariff was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February 2012. The tariff was increased by up to two per cent in May 2012 year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012.
It was hiked by up to three per cent in February last year and again by five per cent in August last.
The cost of buying power has increased primarily on account of an increase in the input prices of raw material like coal and gas, officials said.