Pic: Shiv Sainiks took out a rally in support of the Thackeray Sena, in Mumbai, Sunday
As the political crisis continues to play out in Maharashtra, the rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde has moved the Supreme Court over the deputy speaker’s disqualification notice. Two petitions have been filed challenging the disqualification notice issued by the deputy speaker and the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary as leader of the legislative party. A separate plea has also been submitted seeking security for the rebel MLAs and their families.
Reports confirm that a copy of the petition has been sent to Maharashtra government lawyers. The matter is mentioned for an urgent hearing, Monday. A two-judge bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala is expected to preside over the proceedings. The petition has been filed by two members of the rebel camp. Meanwhile Maharashtra minister Uday Samant arrived at the Guwahati hotel around 7 pm Sunday.
In Mumbai, the Thackeray camp has deployed the legal counsel of Apex court senior lawyer Devdatt Kamat. The legal eagle explained at a press briefing: “There is a narrative in the media that just because the rebels have a 2/3rd majority, they will not face disqualification. You can ask any Constitutional lawyer. This is totally wrong. The concept of 2/3rd applies only when there is a merger with another part.” Also present at the meet was Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant.
“(Disqualification) proceedings have been initiated by the Shiv Sena against 16 MLAs. There are several judgments entailed in this scenario. Any legislator’s anti-party activities outside the House makes for eligible grounds to be disqualified,” he explained.
Mr Kamat also exemplified how former Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav was disqualified because he attended a rally by party boss Nitish Kumar’s foe-turned-friend-turned-foe Lalu Prasad Yadav.
“The action of going to a foreign state, a BJP-ruled state, meeting with BJP leaders, trying to topple the government, writing letters against the government, amounts to a clear violation. This is our plea to the Speaker,” he explained.
“They are also saying the Deputy Speaker has no jurisdiction. This is also totally wrong. In the absence of a Speaker, the Deputy Speaker has all the powers. We are going to press for their disqualification,” the lawyer said.
Now in its sixth day, the tussle between Uddhav Thackeray’s side and the rebels led by Eknath Shinde escalated on Sunday with Sena leaders, led by spokesperson Sanjay Raut, launching scathing attacks on the dissidents.