SC to consider listing of Thackeray group’s plea against CM Shinde, MLAs

“All impugned decisions are premised on a common finding that the majority of legislators represented the will of the political party, and therefore, they are not liable for disqualification,” the plea said.

In his ruling on the disqualification petitions, the speaker did not disqualify any MLA belonging to the rival camps.

The speaker’s ruling further cemented Shinde’s position as the chief minister, 18 months after he led a rebellion against Thackeray, and added to his political heft in the ruling coalition, which also consists of the BJP and the NCP (Ajit Pawar group).

Narwekar had said no party leadership can use provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law) to quell dissent or indiscipline within a party.

The Shinde group had the support of 37 out of the total 54 Sena MLAs when the party split in June 2022, the speaker had noted.

The Election Commission had given the ‘Shiv Sena’ name and ‘bow and arrow’ symbol to the Shinde-led faction in early 2023.

In his order on the disqualification petitions filed by the Shinde-led Sena and the rival Thackeray faction against each other’s MLAs, Narwekar had said Sunil Prabhu of the Sena (UBT) ceased to be the whip from June 21, 2022 (when the party split) and legislator Bharat Gogawale of the Shinde group became the authorised whip.

The speaker had also held that the Shiv Sena ‘pramukh’ (chief) did not have the power to remove any leader from the party. He did not accept the argument that the will of the party chief and the will of the party were synonymous.

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