Blow to MVA: Can’t disqualify rebel MLAs till July 12, says SC

Times of India | 1 month ago | 28-06-2022 | 06:37 am

Blow to MVA: Can’t disqualify rebel MLAs till July 12, says SC

NEW DELHI: In a serious setback to the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court on Monday protected rebel Sena MLAs from disqualification proceedings till July 12, directed the ruling coalition to ensure their safety in Maharashtra and, importantly, refused the Sena-NCP-Congress coalition's request to stop the Eknathrao S Shinde-led rebels from demanding a floor test in the assembly. Shinde tweeted on the SC order, "This is the victory of Balasaheb Thackeray and Anand Dighe's thoughts." हा वंदनीय हिंदुहृदयसम्राट शिवसेनाप्रमुख बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांच्या हिंदुत्वाचा आणि धर्मवीर आनंद दिघे साहेबांच्या विचा… https://t.co/FPRiQJL8ux— Eknath Shinde - एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) 1656329992000A string of senior advocates - A M Singhvi, Rajeev Dhavan and Devadatt Kamat - made strenuous attempts on behalf of MVA and the deputy speaker to persuade a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala not to interfere in the disqualification proceedings against 15 of the 39 rebel Sena MLAs supporting Shinde, saying it fell in the exclusive domain of the speaker. When the effort did not work, Kamat tried to stop the likely effort to bring out CM Thackeray's diminished support by requesting that if the disqualification proceedings, which were to commence after the end of deadline for the 15 rebel MLAs at 5.30pm on Monday to present themselves before the deputy speaker, are being deferred, then the status quo as of Monday be maintained and there should be no demand from the rebels for a floor test. MVA govt trying to avoid floor test: Shinde's lawyerShinde's counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul promptly said "now the cat is out of the bag" and that the minority MVA government wants to avoid a floor test. The bench told Kamat that passing a restraint order on a floor test would give rise to unnecessary complications but told him the MVA was free to move court if any illegalities were committed. Kaul argued that as per a Constitution bench judgment of the SC in Nabam Rebia case, a speaker or deputy speaker facing motion of removal is prohibited from initiating disqualification proceedings against any MLA. He said the rebel MLAs had given notice on June 21 seeking removal of deputy speaker (Narhari Zirwal of NCP). Disqualification proceedings initiated against the rebel Sena MLAs is a counter manoeuver, he alleged. Kaul's argument found favour with the Supreme Court vacation bench headed by Justice Kant and submissions of Singhvi, Dhavan and Kamat failed to counter it. The bench asked Dhavan whether the deputy speaker would defer disqualification proceedings against the rebel MLAs till notice for his removal is decided by the House. But Dhavan insisted the rebel MLAs must present themselves before the deputy speaker on Monday itself to respond to disqualification notices. This made the bench pass the interim order deferring disqualification proceedings under the anti-defection law.

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Uddhav camp excluded from BAC, Speaker says accepted Shinde’s letter as he’s group leader
The Indian Express | 7 hours ago | 12-08-2022 | 03:45 am
The Indian Express
7 hours ago | 12-08-2022 | 03:45 am

THE BUSINESS Advisory Committee of the state legislative assembly met on Thursday morning to discuss programme for the coming monsoon session but MLAs of Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction were conspicuous by their absence. Speaker Rahul Narvekar told The Indian Express that since the Chief Minister is the group leader of Shiv Sena, and nobody informed his office about the split in the Sena, he accepted the names given by Eknath Shinde.Following Shinde’s rebellion in June 2022 and the subsequent change of guard in Maharashtra, the Shinde camp has been claiming they are the original Shiv Sena. The legislative secretariat has also accepted names of Chief minister Eknath Shinde as the legislative party leader, and Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip of the legislative party. As a result, none of the 15 MLAs of Sena, who have not extended support to Shinde, are a part of the BAC for assembly.The Thackeray camp has named Ajay Choudhary as group leader and Sunil Prabhu as the chief whip. On Thursday evening, Prabhu submitted a letter to Narvekar’s office, demanding inclusion of these names in the BAC. A delegation of Opposition leaders too held a meeting with Narvekar demanding the same.Narvekar said, “We have accepted the names sent to us by Shiv Sena group leader Eknath Shinde, who is also the Chief Minister. Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs and none of the group has come to us and said they are a different faction. We have only one Shiv Sena in front of us. As per the records in front of us, the group leader has been appointed by the majority of MLAs. We sought names from the group leader (Shinde) and those names were added in the BAC.”When asked about the letter given by Prabhu, the Speaker said he cannot entertain letters written by each MLA and he has to go by the rulebook.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxIn the afternoon, the Opposition held a meeting to discuss the strategy for the monsoon session.

Uddhav camp excluded from BAC, Speaker says accepted Shinde’s letter as he’s group leader
Sena’s call to appoint Danve as LoP in Council: Ajit Pawar meets Uddhav, advises him to consult allies before taking major decisions
The Indian Express | 12 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 10:45 pm
The Indian Express
12 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 10:45 pm

Shiv Sena’s unilateral decision to appoint Ambadas Danve as the leader of Opposition of the state Legislative Council has created fissures within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance. So much so that a delegation of NCP, led by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Ajit Pawar, met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night to advise him to consult allies before taking any such major decision.Congress has openly expressed its displeasure over the action of the Sena leadership, with party state president Nana Patole saying on Thursday that the alliance with the Sena was never “natural” and “permanent”.“The post of Leader of Opposition in state Assembly is with the NCP and deputy chairperson’s post is with Shiv Sena. We were of the opinion that the leader of Opposition post in the Legislative Council should be given to Congress. But Shiv Sena did not even consult us and went ahead without taking us into confidence. We oppose this,” Patole told mediapersons in Aurangabad.“The alliance with the Sena was never natural and it was done because Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar met our leader Sonia Gandhi,” he added.“Maha Vikas Aghadi is a not permanent one. If Congress is not taken into confidence during the decision-making process, then we will also have to think over it,” Patole said.On Wednesday night, the NCP delegation met Thackeray at the latter’s residence Matoshree in Mumbai. “We hadn’t met him (Thackeray) after he stepped down from the CM’s post. Many issues, including some political ones, were discussed,” NCP state president Jayant Patil told mediapersons.Asked about Congress’ position about Danve’s selection as leader of Opposition, Patil said the MVA stands united and a meeting will be held with Patole once he returns to Mumbai.According to sources, Congress and NCP are wary about more defections from the Sena and especially, from the state Council. As per the number strength in the Legislative Council, Opposition Sena has 12 members while NCP and Congress have 10 each.“Though Uddhav Thackeray has announced that he will resign from the Council, his resignation is yet to be submitted. It ensures that Sena remains the biggest Opposition party in the Council,” a source said. However, three Sena MLCs have reportedly shifted their allegiance to the Shinde camp and are likely to join the faction soon, sources added.“In that case, the Congress will get the leader of Opposition’s post. We wanted to discuss all of this and then decide on the name. But Sena went ahead without taking us into confidence,” said a Congress leader.On August 8, Thackeray had sent a letter addressed to the chairman of the Legislative Council, recommending Danve’s name as the leader of Opposition. Since the post is vacant, it was accepted by Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe – a Sena leader and Thackeray loyalist. The next day, Danve’s appointment was confirmed.Incidentally, Congress Legislative Party leader Balasaheb Thorat had written to the chairman of the Legislative Council on August 3 staking claim on the post.The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, however, tried to downplay Patole’s statement. “We don’t take Nana Patole’s statement seriously but it is unfortunate that he made such a critical juncture,” Sena MP Vinayak Raut told The Indian Express.“Congress should understand that whoever has more numbers, gets the opportunity to have its MLC as the leader of Opposition in the Council. The Shiv Sena has the highest number of MLCs and therefore, it was natural that our MLC would become the leader of Opposition,” he added.Raut said the statement by the Congress chief has come at a wrong time. “At a time when we are going through a difficult phase, we expect our allies to extend support to us and not speak at cross purposes,” he added.Another Sena leader said, “When Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena is struggling to stay afloat, the Maharashtra Congress has rubbed salt into its wound… the Congress is trying to weaken it further. This was not expected especially when the BJP has made all out efforts to force Uddhav Thackeray to dump the MVA, which he has refused.”Asked whether the Congress was trying to break the MVA, Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “We are merely objecting to the denial of post to the Congress. The NCP holds the Opposition leader’s post in the Assembly. The Shiv Sena holds the deputy leader’s post in the Council. Therefore, the Congress should have been given one post, as we were equal partners in MVA.”Meanwhile, reacting to Patole’s statement, Deepak Kesarkar, spokesperson for Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, said: “This exactly is what we have been saying. Shiv Sena’s alliance with Congress and NCP was not natural. We hope Patole’s statement will help reunite the two groups.”(With inputs from ENS)

Sena’s call to appoint Danve as LoP in Council: Ajit Pawar meets Uddhav, advises him to consult allies before taking major decisions
Mumbai: MMRDA seeks Kanjurmarg land for Metro line 6
The Indian Express | 20 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 02:45 pm
The Indian Express
20 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 02:45 pm

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has written to the Maharashtra urban development department seeking land allotment at Kanjurmarg for the Metro 6 car depot between Swami Samarth Nagar and Vikhroli.“Now that the Shinde-led government has taken a decision to have Metro 3 car shed at Aarey instead of Kanjurmarg, for Metro 6 the land is sought by MMRDA at Kanjurmarg as per the original plan instead of integrated car depot,” said a source about the letter sent to the urban development department last week.The move comes a month after the Eknath Shinde-led government overturned the decision of the previous Uddhav Thackeray Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation to relocate the Metro Line-3 car shed from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg.The plan to have the metro depot for Mumbai Metro line 6 on 15 hectare of land at Kanjurmarg was proposed during the BJP-Shiv Sena government under Devendra Fadnavis.However, during the MVA government, the Mumbai Metro 3 car shed was proposed to be shifted to Kanjurmarg amid opposition by environmentalists and an integrated car shed of three metros corridors was planned at Kanjurmarg. For all the three metro corridors, Metro lines 6, 3 and 4, 102 acre of land was required at Kanjurmarg.The land parcels, however, got stuck in litigations with several private parties as well as the salt pan department claiming the land and approaching court.The 14.4 km of Mumbai Metro line 6 to connect Eastern and Western Express highways through Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) is being constructed at a cost of Rs 6,700 crore and it will facilitate commuters to reduce the travel time on the route by 35-45 minutes.

Mumbai: MMRDA seeks Kanjurmarg land for Metro line 6
Eknath Shinde camp keeps Uddhav Thackeray loyalists out of Assembly panel
The Indian Express | 20 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 02:45 pm
The Indian Express
20 hours ago | 11-08-2022 | 02:45 pm

The legislators of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena were not invited to the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Maharashtra Assembly held Thursday morning to discuss the schedule of its upcoming monsoon session.Following the rebellion of Eknath Shinde in June and subsequent change of guard in Maharashtra, the Shinde camp and 40 supporting MLAs have been claiming they are the original Shiv Sena.The legislative secretariat has also accepted the names of Chief minister Eknath Shinde as the legislative party leader and Bharat Gogawale as the new chief whip of the legislative party.None of the 15 MLAs, who have not extended support to Shinde, are being made part of the BAC.Sources in the government said there was no question of inviting others since Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena MLAs are a part of the government and it has been recognised as a legislative party inside the House. “As per the rules, Shiv Sena representatives are part of the BAC. CM and other ministers from his party are in the BAC and there is no question of inclusion of others,” a leader from the Shinde camp said.Meanwhile, the Thackeray-led camp has moved swiftly in the state council staking claim over the post of the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Upper House. Ambadas Danve has been appointed as the LoP in the council as Sena has the largest number of MLCs among the three Opposition parties.On Thursday afternoon, a meeting of opposition parties is set to be held where a discussion on the strategy for the monsoon session will be discussed.

Eknath Shinde camp keeps Uddhav Thackeray loyalists out of Assembly panel