Newly-elected Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will have to prove his majority in the state assembly on Monday (July 4).
The test of strength would happen on a high-voltage day as the Supreme Court is set to hear petitions by Team Thackeray seeking to disqualify 15 Sena rebels, including CM Shinde and another petition by the new Chief Minister’s camp challenging the disqualification attempt, all on Monday.
Shinde has said that with 39 of 55 MLAs, his faction is the legitimate Sena and its orders and appointments are therefore binding on Thackeray’s team.
That is the ultimate challenge for Thackeray to be presented with - that the party founded by his father, Bal Thackeray, is no longer his.
The new Chief Minister has said the test of strength is only a formality and he is confident his government would pass the test, adding he has the support of 175 MLAs.
Mr Shinde has credited his success to former Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis' as "masterstroke".
"People thought that the BJP was desperate for power. But truly, this is a masterstroke by Devendra ji. To hand over power to another person despite having larger numbers (of MLAs) requires a big heart," the new Chief Minister said.