Firing a fresh salvo against the newly formed Maharashtra government, the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena on Friday moved a fresh plea before the Supreme Court, challenging Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form government, as well as the election of the Assembly Speaker.
Thackeray group leader Subhash Desai has also questioned the trust vote which Shinde won with an overwhelming majority, and has approached the top court regarding the same. The Thackeray camp has pointed out that the 16 ‘rebel’ legislators, against whom the disqualification proceedings were pending before the SC, were in no position to participate in either the Assembly Speaker elections or the trust vote.
The Thackeray group, in a plea before the SC, has sought the disqualification of all the ‘rebel’ MLAs who had voted in the Speaker’s election and in floor test.
Last month, Eknath Shinde, a state minister from the then-Uddhav Thackeray cabinet, had left the state with several MLAs from the party, along with Independent MLAs. In the coming days as more legislators from Thackeray’s Shiv Sena joined the Shinde camp, the Maharashtra government collapsed.
After the Governor asked the Uddhav government to prove its majority on the floor of the House, the MVA alliance, in an unsuccessful attempt, approached the top court to stall the no-confidence motion against him. After the SC allowed for the floor test to go ahead, Thackeray resigned from the post of Chief Minister.
The following day, Shinde and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis approached the Governor to stake claim to form the government in the state. On June 30, Shinde took oath as the Maharashtra CM, and Fadnavis was sworn in as his deputy.
Soon after, special sessions were summoned to elect a new Speaker and to allow the newly-formed Shinde government to prove its majority in the Assembly. Both the Shiv Sena factions had issued separate whips for the Speaker’s election. The SC’s decision on the litany of charges levelled against the Shinde faction by the Thackeray group is likely to determine the immediate fate of the Maharashtra government in the coming days.