Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday delivered a rousing speech after winning the crucial floor test in the state Assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it. Three legislators abstained from voting, while 21 legislators, including Congress' Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar, were absent during the trust vote.
Highlights of Eknath Shinde's speech:
1. Shinde said he had been suppressed for a long time and the rebellion led by him was a fallout of the unfair treatment meted out to him. "The happenings of today didn't happen in just one day," he said. "When I came for election, there are people in this House who witnessed how I was treated. I have been suppressed for a long time. Sunil Prabhu (Shiv Sena MLA from the Uddhav Thackeray faction) is also a witness," he said without elaborating.
2. Quoting former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Shinde said the senior NCP leader had told him that an "accident" has occurred in Shiv Sena after the formation of the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which came to power in November 2019. Without taking names, Shinde also referred to Uddhav Thackeray's statement that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had informed him ahead of the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi that leaders of Congress and NCP were not keen to work under Shinde. "But after the formation of the MVA government, Ajit Pawar told me that an accident took place in your own party (Shiv Sena). We were never against you becoming the chief minister," Shinde said apparently referring to Uddhav Thackeray becoming the chief minister.
3. Shinde also claimed that he was earlier promised the post of deputy chief minister when the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance was in power. "I was told by Union minister (and BJP leader) Nitin Gadkari that I will soon get a good posting," he said.
4. Shinde thanked Devendra Fadnavis for giving him a chance to work as a minister in the previous government. He said, "I thank Devendra Fadnavis ji for giving me a chance to work as a minister in the previous government... I could work on Samruddhi Mahamarg project. He was to give the Deputy CM post to Shiv Sena also in 2019."
5. "We are Shivsainiks and we will always be Shivsainiks of Balasaheb and Anand Dighe," the Maharashtra Chief Minister said.
6. Shinde referred to two of his children who had died and got emotional. "They attacked my family...My father is alive, my mother died. I could not give much time to my parents. They would be asleep when I came and would go to work when I slept. I could not give much time to my son Shrikant. My two children died - at the time, Anand Dighe consoled me. I used to think, what is there to live for? I will stay with my family," the Chief Minister said.
(With ANI and PTI inputs)