Maharashtra: Shiv Sena seeks disqualification of rebel MLAs, including Shinde
In a bid to save the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra in case of a trust vote, the party faction led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray filed a petition before the Deputy Speaker seeking disqualification of rebel MLA Eknath Shinde and 11 others for "not attending" legislative party meeting on Wednesday. However, Shinde said that such a move was illegal.
Why does this story matter?
- Maharashtra is currently in a political crisis after rebel Sena MLA Eknath Shinde claimed that he has 40 MLAs with him to challenge the present government.
- He was displeased with the Sena joining hands with the Congress and NCP to form the MVA alliance.
- He claimed that the Sena MLAs were sidelined, while those from the alliance partners got more opportunities and funds.
'Rebels were issued notice to attend meeting'
Sena MP Arvind Sawant said that Ajay Choudhari, who was appointed legislative party leader, filed the petition before the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and demanded that the membership of 12 MLAs should be canceled as they didn't attend Wednesday's meeting. He further said the MLAs had been issued a notice that legal action would be taken if they failed to attend the meeting.
Shinde has claimed support of 46 MLAs
The Shinde camp has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, including 37 Sena MLAs and nine independents. Notably, 37 MLAs are required to split the party. The camp has also written to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari stating that Shinde continues to be the legislative party leader. Three more legislators who arrived in Guwahati on Thursday include Dada Bhuse, Sanjay Rathore, and Ravindra Phatak.
Congress, NCP stand strong with Thackeray
MVA alliance partners—Congress and National Congress Party (NCP)—said that they are with Thackeray. "We will fight together. The MVA will stay together," veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said. Expressing confidence that the government will survive, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, "The fate of the MVA government will be decided in the Assembly, not in Guwahati. A floor test will decide who has the majority."
Shinde firm on revolt, wants Sena to quit MVA alliance
Shinde demanded that Sena must break off from the "unnatural" MVA alliance. He alleged that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the alliance, the Sena and its workers were getting weaker by the day. In a letter, the Shinde camp claimed that he took the step because of the "humiliation" the MLAs faced in the last two-and-a-half years.
Thackeray says resignation letter ready
"Why make statements from Surat and other places. Come and tell me on my face that I am incompetent to handle the CM's post and Shiv Sena president. I will resign. I will keep resignation letter ready and you can take it to the Raj Bhavan," Uddhav Thackeray said. He also clarified that a spine surgery last year kept him away from meeting people.