Aaditya may soon become sole MLA of Uddhav-led Sena

Published on Jul 06, 2022 12:24 AM IST

Aaditya Thackeray, former environment and tourism minister and an MLA from Worli, may soon find himself in the piquant position of being the sole MLA of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena

. However, a notice of disqualification will not be sent to Aaditya Thackeray, said sources in the Speaker’s office, as he is the grandson of the Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
. However, a notice of disqualification will not be sent to Aaditya Thackeray, said sources in the Speaker’s office, as he is the grandson of the Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

Mumbai Aaditya Thackeray, former environment and tourism minister and an MLA from Worli, may soon find himself in the piquant position of being the sole MLA of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena. Though the entire matter of the vertical split in the Shiv Sena is still pending in the Supreme Court, the newly-elected Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Rahul Narwekar, has already begun the process of disqualifying 14 Sena MLAs who still profess allegiance to Uddhav Thackeray. However, a notice of disqualification will not be sent to Aaditya Thackeray, said sources in the Speaker’s office, as he is the grandson of the Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

Over the last two weeks, 40 of the Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs have switched sides to join Eknath Shinde who has since claimed that his faction is the real Shiv Sena, and that the remaining MLAs should be disqualified for anti-party activity as they voted against Shinde on the floor of the house during Monday’s trust vote.

The situation with regards to Aaditya Thackeray gets more complicated as the Speaker has recognized Eknath Shinde as the leader of the Shiv Sena on the floor of the House even though Narwekar’s own election as Speaker has been challenged by MVA lawyers in the Supreme Court and it has still to be adjudicated. But as things stand for now, the Worli MLA, the first and the only Thackeray so far to have contested an election, is unlikely to be counted as a Sena MLA though he will continue to be a member of the House.

On Monday Bharat Gogawale, chief whip of Shinde-led faction sought the disqualification of 14 Sena MLAs but not Aaditya. MLAs from the Shinde faction claim they have not initiated disqualification proceedings against the junior Thackeray out of respect for his lineage, a fact that the pro-Uddhav camp rubbishes adding that Aaditya has been spared because the rebels fear a backlash from the Shiv Sena cadre

Aaditya Thackeray himself said he did not attach any importance to the development. “I do not want anyone’s khaas prem (favours). The important part is that our whip is the official whip of the party. In a legal battle, our whip will be important. I will always stand with our Shiv Sainiks and loyalist MLAs in all situations.”

Prof Ulhas Bapat, an expert on constitutional law, told HT, “If a legislator votes against the whip of the party, he can be disqualified except in two situations--if they have taken prior permission to do so, and if the party condones his or her act within 15 days of the legislator doing so.”

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