Maharashtra house speaker ahead of MLA disqualification hearing, ‘Will hear all sides’
Ahead of the likely initiation of the high-stakes hearing of the disqualification of the MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly from next week, the house speaker said he would hear everyone’s side before arriving on a decision. He further added that the decision will be taken as per the constitution. Notably disqualification pleas were filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the other members of his camp post the split in the Shiv Sena in 2022.
“I will decide as a quasi-judicial authority. I cannot comment further on the issue. Action will be taken as per the rules and framework of the Constitution. I will hear everyone’s side before taking the decision,” Speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rahul Narwekar told reporters while responding to a query. The speaker is likely to begin the hearing in connection with the disqualification pleas is likely to kick off next week.
Notices sent to 54 MLAs of both factions of Shiv Sena
The necessary notices have been sent to the 40 MLAs of the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and 14 of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, seeking their replies on disqualification petitions against them, Narvekar had informed in July. The notices were issued against a total of 54 MLAs, including CM Shinde and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray.
Notably, the 16 Shiv Sena MLAs, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, submitted a 6,000-page reply to the Maharashtra assembly speaker in response to the disqualification notice against them. Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Shirsat dubbed the 6,000-page petition as a tactic to delay the proceedings. “We have not written any stories or a film story, we have just put out the factual situation and given our version,” he said.
Earlier in July, the Shiv Sena (UBT) approached the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the assembly speaker to hear the disqualification petitions expeditiously. MLA Sunil Prabhu had, in his capacity as chief whip of the undivided Shiv Sena, filed the disqualification petitions against Shinde and other 15 MLAs last year after they rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022. On May 11, the Supreme Court ruled that Eknath Shinde will continue to be the chief minister of Maharashtra. It cannot reinstate the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government headed by Uddhav Thackeray as the Sena leader chose to resign without facing a floor test in the wake of Shinde’s rebellion, the top court said.
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