Maha politics: All eyes on 13 Ind, 16 smaller party MLAs

Mumbai: While major political parties in Maharashtra are slugging it out to form a government amidst twists and turns, all eyes are now on which way 13 Independents and 16 MLAs from smaller parties will swing in the quest to achieve the 145-mark in the 288-member House in floor test.
The Shiv Sena, which is in talks with the Congress-NCP to form a government sans one-time ally BJP, claims to have the support of seven MLAs apart from its own flock of 56.
The BJP, which emerged the largest party in the October 21 Assembly polls with 105 seats, claims to have the support of 14 more MLAs, taking its tally effectively to 119.
It is not certain how many MLAs, if any, are backing NCP leader Ajit Pawar who joined hands with the BJP on Saturday and took oath as deputy chief minister in the BJP-led government under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Achalpur MLA and Prahar Janshakti Party (PJP) chief Bacchu Kadu, who had given the Sena a letter of support several days ago, on Sunday told PTI that he and his two legislator colleagues will continue to back the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Krantikari Shetkari Paksh (KSP) MLA Shankarrao Gadakh has also given a letter of support to the Sena, which has also managed to garner backing of Ashish Jaiswal (Ramtek), Narendra Bhondekar (Bhandara), Manila Gavit (Sakri) and Chandrakant Patil (Muktainagar).
The MLAs supporting the BJP comprise Independents Ravi Rana (Badnera), Kishore Jorgewar (Chandrapur), Geeta Jain (Mira Bhayander), Mahesh Baldi (Uran), Sanjay Shinde (Karmala), Rajendra Raut (Barshi), Pakash Awade (Ichalkaranji), and Rajendra Patil (Shirol).
The BJP also claims the support of PWP MLA Shyamsunder Shinde (Loha), Rashtriya Samaj Paksh’s Ratnakar Gutte from Gangakhed, Rajesh Patil from Bhoisar, Kshitij Thakur from Nalasopara, Hitendra Thakur from Vasai, all from the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), and Jan Surajya Shakti Party’s Shahuwadi MLA Vinayak Kore.
Others in the Assembly include the AIMIM and Samajwadi Party with two MLAs each, and the CPM, MNS, RSP and Swabhimani Paksh with one MLA each.
In the polls, results of which were declared on October 24, the BJP got 105 seats, followed by the Sena with 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44.
Earlier in the day, the supreme court said the issue of floor test, demanded by the Congress-NCP-Sena combine, would be dealt with on Monday only after perusing the two letters- of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari inviting Fadnavis and of the BJP leader staking his claim to form the government- it has demanded.
For their parts, the BJP and the opposition combine have claimed that they have the requisite numbers and would win the floor test comfortably.
According to unconfirmed reports and claims made by the NCP, the governor had asked the BJP to prove numbers by November 30.

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