Maharashtra political conflict: Supreme Court to hear Eknath Shinde's plea today
New Delhi: The Supreme Court agreed to hear on Monday the two petitions filed by the Eknath Shinde faction, claiming to be the majority group in Shiv Sena, regarding the notice of disqualification sent by the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker to the 16 MLAs, besides recognition of Ajay Choudhari as the Legislature Party leader of Shiv Sena.
The matter was mentioned before a Bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala on Sunday, which agreed to list it for June 27.
One of the two petitions contended that since the Shinde group had 32 MLAs and majority, the disqualification plea was not maintainable. It further said the MLAs have not given up their memberships.
The notice was also not maintainable due to the fact that it challenged an act of the majority members, who in any case, had been acting on the instructions of the party leader and Chief Whip elected by the majority, noted the petition.
The plea alleged that the Deputy Speaker did not give the MLAs the required seven-day time to respond to the disqualification notice, but only 48 hours to reply, which was against the Disqualification Rules and the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules as well.
Regarding Choudhari, the petition claimed that MLA Bharat Gogawale, belonging to the Shinde group, had been selected as the Legislature Party leader by their majority faction, and should be declared the Legislature Party leader of Shiv Sena.
The loyalist to Balasaheb Thackeray had plunged the Maharashtra politics into crisis on June 21, after he, along with his MLAs, left Mumbai and reached Surat in Gujarat. The faction is currently housed in an Assam hotel.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena activists and supporters of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday raised slogans against rebel leader Eknath Shinde and also burnt his effigy in Nanded.
(With UNI inputs)