SC refuses to stay floor test; Uddhav Thackeray resigns
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray resigned on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test ordered in Assembly tomorrow. He has also quit as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. The court was hearing a plea by Shiv Sena challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's direction to Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government to prove a majority on Thursday.
Why does this story matter?
Maharashtra has been witnessing a major political crisis after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's trusted lieutenant Eknath Shinde staged a rebellion last week. He was not happy with the Sena joining hands with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. Shinde is also joined by over 38 Sena MLAs who were earlier camping in Assam's Guwahati.
Thackeray to deliver a speech on FB Live
However, the SC said that tomorrow's result will be subject to its verdict on July 11, when it would decide whether a bunch of MLAs from the Sena should be disqualified. Thackeray delivered a speech on Facebook Live at 9:30 pm, as speculations were already rife about his resignation. Further, the number of MLAs supporting him has reduced to a mere 15.
What did the counsels plead before the SC?
The counsels for both the sides argued before the Supreme Court today. Sena counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the floor test should be postponed till the deputy speaker rules on a disqualification petition filed against rebel MLAs. On the other hand, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing Shinde, referred to the SC's previous decision saying that disqualification procedures had no influence on the floor test.
What did the governor tell the governing coalition?
Terming the current political impasse in the state "very disturbing," Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had asked the Maharashtra government to prove its majority on the floor of the House on Thursday. Notably, this came after former CM and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis visited the governor on Tuesday night after returning from Delhi and submitted a letter to him demanding an immediate floor test.
Governor Koshyari orders floor test
Governor Koshyari had called a special session of the Assembly on Thursday. "A Special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha shall be summoned on 30.06.2022 at 11:00 am with the only agenda of a trust vote against the Chief Minister and the proceedings of the floor test shall be concluded in any case 5 pm on 30.06.2022," reads the letter.
How did the issue reach Raj Bhavan?
To note, the official email id of Raj Bhavan reportedly received an email dated June 28 from seven independent MLAs stating that the chief minister had "lost the confidence of the majority on the floor of the House." The governor's notification stated, "As the constitutional head of the State. I must ensure that the Government functions with the support and confidence of the House."
Rebel MLAs likely to reach Mumbai on Thursday
Reportedly, Shinde and other rebel MLAs have been shifted to Goa, and will be flown to Mumbai on Thursday before the floor test at 11 am. They are staying at the Taj Convention Hotel in Goa, and 71 rooms have been booked for them.