Maha crisis: Sena initiates legal action against rebel MLAs, Shinde moves SC
A day ago, 16 rebel MLAs, including Shinde, were issued a disqualification notice by the deputy speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly.
Amid the ongoing political crisis in the Maharashtra government fuelled by minister Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said the party has initiated legal action and served notices to 16 rebel MLAs camping at a luxury hotel in BJP-ruled Assam.
In another development, Shinde moved the Supreme Court against deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal's rejection of a no-confidence motion plea by the rebel. Fifteen other rebel MLAs have also filed a separate petition before the Supreme Court. Both petitions will be heard by SC bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala on Monday.
A day ago, 16 rebel MLAs, including Shinde, were issued a disqualification notice by the deputy speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly. They were also asked to file a written reply by Monday on a disqualification petition filed by the Shiv Sena.
Earlier, addressing reporters, Sawant said, "Political turbulence is going on in Maharashtra, many MLAs defected and have gone to Assam. We have initiated legal action against them and notices have been served to 16 MLAs till now."
Advocate Devdutta Kamat, the Sena's senior counsel, also told reporters that proceedings have been initiated by the party against 16 MLAs, under the provision in the Constitution which says that if a person gives up the membership of a party, then he's eligible for disqualification.
"There were several meetings that were called by Shiv Sena at different times, none of which were attended by them. Visiting BJP-ruled states, meeting BJP leaders, and attempting to topple the government amounts to a violation by rebels," Kamat said.
He also said that the concept of two-third (to surpass anti-defection law) majority applies only if there is a merger. "Until the MLAs don't merge with another party, disqualification applies. Till today, there's no merger. They have voluntarily given up membership," the advocate said.
In the national executive meeting held on Saturday, six resolutions were passed giving absolute rights to Maharashtra chief minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within the party under control.
In a jolt to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Shinde, a senior Sena minister Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs revolted against the party last week and moved to Surat in Gujarat, another BJP-governed state. The rebel MLAs then shifted base to a hotel in Guwahati.
On Friday, in his virtual address to the party's district unit chiefs and 'sampark pramukhs', Thackeray said "despite the rebellions that the party has faced earlier, it came to power twice. I may have left 'Varsha', the chief minister's official residence, but not my determination".
Party MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday had said the Sena is ready to quit the MVA government if the group of rebel legislators camping in Assam returned to Mumbai in 24 hours and discussed the issue with Thackeray.
(With agency inputs)