The April 17 summons is on a defamation case filed by Rahul Ramesh Shewale.New Delhi: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his son and former state minister Aditya Thackeray, and his close confidante Sanjay Raut were today summoned by the Delhi High Court in a defamation case. The April 17 summons is in connection with a petition filed by Rahul Ramesh Shewale, an MP from the rival Eknath Shinde camp of the Shiv Sena.Mr Raut and other leaders from the Thackeray camp had claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr Shinde and his fellow leaders "bought" the 'bow and arrow' symbol of the Shiv Sena for Rs 2,000 crore.Mr Shewale in his petition to the court demanded that it restrain the Thackeray camp leaders from making such remarks in the future. The court, however, said it wouldn't pass an order without hearing the other party as it's a political issue.Rahul Ramesh Shewale's lawyer during the hearing said that Sanjay Raut and others had made the allegation against an institution like the Election Commission of India. The Delhi High Court said the ECI is capable of responding to such claims.The Election Commission recently recognised the faction led by Mr Shinde as the Shiv Sena and allotted it the "bow and arrow" poll symbol.Eknath Shinde, who calls himself the true inheritor of the legacy of Shiv Sena founder and Uddhav Thackeray's father Bal Thackeray, has accused the Shiv Sena (UBT) chief of attempting to destroy the careers of leaders of his own party.Naming Raj Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray's estranged cousin, and Narayan Rane, among others who left his side, Mr Shinde said he had never seen a leader who conspires with other political parties to destroy the political careers of his own people.''How will the party grow in such a situation? I am not 'gaddar' (traitor) but 'khuddar' (a self-respecting person). Uddhav Thackeray doesn't have the right to call us traitors," he said.Upset at Mr Thackeray for compromising with Shiv Sena's core ideals and ditching the BJP to form an alliance government with direct rivals Congress and Sharad Pawar-led NCP, Mr Shinde launched a coup that brought down the Maha Vikas Agadi government.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comEknath Shinde, along with 39 Shiv Sena MLAs, joined forces with the BJP, which he said was his party's natural ally, and formed a new government with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.Shiv Sena last week sacked Sanjay Raut as the leader of its parliamentary party and appointed Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar as his successor.
The Supreme Court has listed for hearing on Tuesday (March 28) a petition filed by Lakshadweep MP P P Mohammed Faizal challenging the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s “unlawful action” in failing to withdraw its disqualification notice, more than two months after the Kerala High Court stayed the MP’s conviction and 10-year sentence in an attempt-to-murder case.According to Faizal, a “false case” was registered against him on January 5, 2016 at Androth island police station. While the trial was ongoing, he was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019.On January 11, 2023, Faizal and three others were sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each by a sessions court in Kavaratti for attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of the late Union Minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.On January 13, the Lok Sabha Secretariat notified Faizal’s disqualification under Section 8(3) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951, which provides for immediate disqualification of any “person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years”. This is the same section under which Rahul Gandhi was disqualified after a Surat magistrate’s court sentenced him to two years in jail for defamation.On January 18, with Faizal’s appeal against the sessions court order still pending before the Kerala High Court, the Election Commission announced a by-election to fill the Lakshadweep seat.On January 25, two days before the scheduled bypoll, the Kerala HC suspended the conviction and 10-year sentence given to Faizal. The EC subsequently announced that it had decided to “withhold” the byelection in Lakshadweep.On January 30, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep challenged the Kerala HC’s decision in the Supreme Court. On February 20, a Bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna refused to stay the HC order and, issuing notice on the UT’s plea, posted the matter for hearing on March 28.In a fresh petition, Faizal has challenged the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s non-withdrawal of the January 13 disqualification notification.The plea contends that the Secretariat’s inaction violates settled law under Section 8 of The Representation of People Act, 1951, under which the disqualification of an MP ceases to operate if their conviction is stayed by an appellate court under Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.In its ruling in Lok Prahari v Election Commission of India & Ors (2018), a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar (retd), and (now CJI) Justice D Y Chandrachud clarified that a disqualification triggered by a conviction will be reversed if the conviction is stayed by a court.“Once the conviction has been stayed during the pendency of an appeal, the disqualification which operates as a consequence of the conviction cannot take or remain in effect,” the ruling had said.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of a Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides for automatic disqualification of a legislator from the Parliament or State assembly upon conviction in a criminal case, Bar and Bench reported.The plea, filed by PhD scholar and social activist Aabha Muralidharan, assumes significance as it comes at a time when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from Lok Sabha after his conviction in a defamation case.Murulidharan said, “Section 8(3) is ultra vires of the Constitution since it curtails free speech of an elected Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and restrains law makers from freely discharging their duties cast upon them by the voters of their respective constituency. ”According to the petition, Section 8(3) is in contradiction to sub-section (1) of the Section 8, Section 8A, 9, 9A, 10 and 10A and 11 of the 1951 Act. In the petition, Murulidharan said the factors such as nature, gravity, role, moral turpitude and the role of the accused, needed to be examined while considering disqualification under Chapter III of the 1951 Act. He pointed out that the intent of the legislature was to disqualify the elected members who on committing of a heinous offences are convicted by the courts and hence are liable to be disqualified.He also contended that the Lily Thomas judgment of the apex court which struck down Section 8(4), is being misused, reported Bar and Bench.
With Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from Parliament, many questions pertaining both to its legal and political ramifications have been doing the rounds. I intend here to both clarify many questions being raised and also raise new and significant ones which are consequential not only to the present case but more broadly, to the fate of our parliamentary democracy.On March 23, the chief judicial magistrate, Surat, sentenced Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to two years imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 after convicting him for the offence of criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.The court suspended his sentence for 30 days and granted him bail to enable him to file an appeal in a higher court against its verdict. Following this, the very next day, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification notification.Congress workers rushed to the streets in many parts of the country, instead of his lawyers rushing to the court in appeal. The solution only lies in the courts. The disqualification can only be reversed if a higher court grants a stay on the conviction or reverses the conviction. After the Lily Thomas judgment of the Supreme Court in 2013, disqualification comes into immediate effect.On October 1, 2013, Rasheed Masood became the first MP to lose his membership of Parliament upon his conviction in a criminal case. After that, over 20 other legislators, including Lalu Prasad, have been disqualified under the same provision.Did the Lok Sabha secretariat act in undue haste as alleged by some? A former Attorney General pointed out that the secretariat has no option. He clarified that as soon as the judge signs the conviction order, disqualification kicks in. He, however, did not mention a violation of this principle that has happened in a similar case from Lakshadweep.The Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal was convicted in an attempt-to-murder case and was awarded a 10-year sentence. Two days later, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification disqualifying him. On January 18, 2023, the Election Commission declared a by-poll for the Lakshadweep seat. However, on January 25, the Kerala High Court stayed Faisal’s conviction. The SC thereafter stayed the by-poll — which the Election Commission had ordered with a similar speed. Even then, to this day, he has not been reinstated in Parliament. What the legal luminary has not mentioned is whether the removal of disqualification also comes into effect the moment the court signs the order suspending conviction. Does this not lend credence to the allegation of selective haste? Besides, doesn’t this wilful disobedience to the orders of the High Court, attract contempt of court? In Lok Prahari v Election Commission of India (2018), the Supreme Court held that once a conviction has been stayed during the pendency of an appeal, the disqualification which operates as a consequence of the conviction cannot take or remain in effect.Some puzzling questions remain that need to be answered. How was it that the petitioner who filed the suit against Rahul Gandhi, sought a stay from the High Court on Gandhi’s trial last year and was successful in delaying the proceedings for nearly twelve months? And what specific circumstances prompted him to seek a vacation of stay when no additional evidence was produced? Why was the magistrate changed last month? No reason has surfaced.Thirdly, did Rahul Gandhi’s remarks come under criminal defamation as opposed to civil defamation? This is what he had said at a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, on April 13, 2019: “One small question, how are the names of all these thieves ‘Modi, Modi, Modi’… Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi…”Did it call for a sentence of the maximum possible prison-term of two years? Incidentally, this is the minimum period of punishment which attracts disqualification under the Representation of People Act 1951.Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly of all: In a political atmosphere such as ours which is being increasingly charged with high levels of hate speech and vitriolic politics, how many of our politicians can truly survive the test of Section 153 (a) and Section 505, conviction under both of which can lead to disqualification under Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951? Both the aforementioned sections deal with the offences of promoting enmity based on religious and linguistic grounds, among others. Therefore, why is there this selective efficiency in disqualifying members of the Opposition while turning a blind eye toward the members of the ruling dispensation? Surely, as the ruling party themselves are stating repeatedly, equality before the law is a cardinal principle and no one is above the law.I believe it is high time that we review and rethink the use and legitimacy of defamation cases in general. Many democratic countries around the world, including the UK, USA and Sri Lanka have decriminalised defamation where it is no longer a criminal offence. It may do us well to follow suit.Finally, in conclusion, it must be remembered that the best and the correct way to proceed from hereon will be through the due process of the courts. The judgment determining the legality of the disqualification cannot be deliberated in the streets. The political fallout of this issue is slowly unfolding and we wait to see where this may finally take us, especially in light of the 2024 general elections.But whatever may be the electoral results and legal verdicts, it is an indisputable fact that a healthy Opposition is imperative for a healthy democracy. We must not allow it to be killed.The writer is former Chief Election Commissioner of India and the author of An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election
The Congress on Saturday announced its first list of 124 candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka with former chief minister Siddaramaiah being fielded from his Varuna seat.Pradesh Congress Committee chief DK Shivakumar will contest the elections from his Kanakapura assembly constituency, according to the list.PR1 Karnataka vs Candidates 2023 by Dorjee Wangmo on ScribdThe party has fielded former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara from the Koratagere (SC) constituency. Former ministers KH Muniappa and Priyanka Kharge will contest from Devanahalli and Chitapur (SC), respectively. Priyanka is the son of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge.The party’s central election committee cleared the first list of candidates after a meeting in Delhi on March 17. The committee is chaired by Congress chief Kharge. Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting.The Congress is the first party to release its candidates’ list for the elections in Karnataka. The Election Commission is yet to announce the schedule for assembly polls in the southern state.Assembly polls in Karnataka are slated before May when the tenure of the current assembly ends.The Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in the southern state.
There is a very interesting passage in a Supreme Court judgment delivered way back in 1965 in Kultar Singh vs Mukhtiar Singh, which comes to mind in the context of the conviction and subsequent disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case. The Court was called upon to decide whether the word “panth” used in a pamphlet amounted to an appeal in the name of religion. The Court said, “the document must be read as a whole and its purport and effect determined in a fair, objective and reasonable manner. In reading such documents it would be unrealistic to ignore the fact that when election meetings are held and appeals are made by candidates of opposing parties the atmosphere is usually surcharged with partisan feelings and emotions and the use of hyperboles or exaggerated language or the adoption of metaphors and the extravagance of expression in attacking one another are all a part of the game. So when the question about the effect of speeches delivered is argued in the cold atmosphere of a judicial chamber, some allowance must be made and impugned speeches must be construed in that light.”The above passage contains a very salutary principle that the language used by politicians in a politically charged atmosphere like election meetings etc. should be treated with a little understanding and a spirit of realism. Well, it is for the courts in India to pay heed to the sane advice coming from the apex court.Whether a particular surname used by Rahul Gandhi was intended to defame a whole community of people carrying that surname or whether it was said with no malice or whether it was an innocent off the cuff remark for the purpose of causing a little laugh is for the appellate court to delve into. But the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat convicting and sentencing a top political leader of India like Rahul Gandhi to two years imprisonment is unprecedented and in a way a negation of the principle enunciated by the Supreme Court. It is to be noted that two years imprisonment is the maximum punishment provided for the offence of defamation provided in the IPC. Incidentally, this is the minimum period of punishment which attracts disqualification under the Representation of People Act 1951.The order of the CJM has thrown up some important constitutional and legal issues. Under Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act 1951, a person convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of conviction and would remain disqualified for a further period of six years after his release. The effect of disqualification is that he will be barred from contesting any election and also from voting during the period of disqualification.However, there was an exception provided in Section 8(4) in favour of the sitting members of a legislature under which the order of disqualification would not take effect until after three months from the date of that order. If during these three months he filed an appeal, the disqualification order would be kept in abeyance till the appeal is disposed off. This three-month window was knocked down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 2013 in Lily Thomas vs Union of India. The result is that as soon as a sitting member is sentenced to imprisonment for two years, his disqualification takes effect. Of course, when that member obtains a stay of the conviction and sentence from the appellate court, the disqualification is lifted. But a tricky legal question that arises is whether he ceases to be a member as soon as he is convicted and sentenced.To answer this question, we may have to travel outside the SC decision in Lily Thomas. Article 103 of the Constitution says that if a question arises as to whether a sitting member of the legislature has become subject to disqualification, the question shall be referred to the President whose decision shall be final. But before giving his decision, the President shall refer the question to the Election Commission and shall act in accordance with the opinion of the Commission. Disqualification can arise according to Article 102 in many ways. One of the grounds for disqualification under Article 102 is conviction for any offence and sentence to imprisonment for two years or more. So, the question of disqualification of Rahul Gandhi ought to have been decided by the President as per Article 103 before any further action is taken.In other words, the disqualification can take effect under Article 103 only after the President has taken a decision. It is interesting to note that another judgment of the Supreme Court says that presidential decision is essential before disqualification takes effect and the seat in the house is declared vacant under Article 101(3). The Court says: “However, vacancies contemplated in Article 101(3)(a) will arise only when the disqualification is decided upon and declared by the President under Article 103(1)” (Consumer Education and Research Society vs Union of India, 2009). This judgment was given by a three-judge bench whereas Lily Thomas was decided by a two-judge bench. So, under Article 103, there cannot be an automatic disqualification of a sitting member of the legislature. Section 8(3) of the RP Act 1951 does not provide for automatic disqualification. It uses the words “shall be disqualified” and not “shall stand disqualified”. However, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued a notification now stating that Rahul Gandhi stands disqualified which is apparently in conflict with Section 8(3) of the RP Act.The immediate effect of disqualification will be a declaration by the Secretariat of the Lok Sabha that the seat has become vacant. This was perhaps done in the case of the sitting MP from Lakshadweep. But as per the decision of the Supreme Court in the Consumer Education case (supra) this declaration can be made only after the President has announced her decision on the question of disqualification.Defamation as a criminal offence is being done away with in many democratic countries: It is no longer an offence in the UK, USA or Sri Lanka. There is a growing volume of opinion in democratic societies in favour of decriminalising defamation. The Indian society being too much involved in acrimonious, adversarial politics is unable to speak aloud for abolishing this law. It is an irony that the descendents of the mother of democracy are too preoccupied to notice the impact of the criminalisation of defamation.The writer is former Secretary General, Lok Sabha
A Surat court’s conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case paves way for his “immediate disqualification” from the Lok Sabha until a higher court stays his conviction. In the recent past, similar convictions have triggered disqualifications. A look at what followed court decisions in these cases:On January 13, two days after he was convicted by a sessions court in Lakshadweep in an attempt-to-murder case, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification disqualifying Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal. However, on January 25, the Kerala High Court suspended the conviction. The Election Commission decided to withhold the by-election to the Lok Sabha seat that was supposed to be held on February 27.On October 27, 2022, a Rampur MP-MLA court of additional chief judicial magistrate Nishant Maan convicted Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in a 2019 hate-speech case and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment. A day later, the UP Assembly Secretariat announced Khan’s disqualification from the House.After a Special CBI court in Ranchi convicted him in a multi-crore fodder scam on October 3, 2013, RJD chief Lalu Prasad was disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership via a parliamentary notification dated October 2.Nearly a month after a special MP-MLA court in Muzaffarnagar sentenced BJP MLA Vikram Saini to two years imprisonment for his role in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, the UP Assembly issued a notification dated November 7, 2022, to declare his Khatauli Assembly seat as vacant.
In the ongoing disqualification proceedings against Maharashtra MLAs in the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, heading the five-judge Constitution bench, dropped a bombshell with his hard-hitting remarks about the role and powers of a governor.In the course of the arguments, the CJI severely criticised the Maharashtra governor’s actions and raised questions about the legitimacy and limits of a governor’s role in this case, though as obiter dicta. The CJI observed that the “governor should not enter the political arena”, adding that a governor “cannot enter into any area by which his action would precipitate the fall of a government” and that unless this principle is maintained, it would be “very, very serious for our democracy”.The crucial issue at hand is regarding the procedural and constitutional powers conferred on a governor. A governor who is expected to be non-partisan cannot function in a way that precipitates a crisis and leads to the toppling of a duly elected government. Furthermore, being an executive appointee, the governor has no role to play in legislative issues, and if at all he does, we need to delineate the circumstantial constraints and exceptions that will legitimately allow his interference.While the argumentative and circumstantial nuances specific to the particular case concerning the Maharashtra crisis are sub judice, we can not lose sight of the highly significant underlying issue — the role and scope of the office of governor.In India in recent years, there have been a spate of controversies about governors across the country from Jharkhand and West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This issue has gotten to such a worrying level that many governors are being called “agent provocateur of the Centre”.We only have to take the very recent case of R N Ravi, the Tamil Nadu governor. Exceeding his powers, he skipped certain parts of his speech, omitting words such as secularism, Periyar and B R Ambedkar. He further made denigrating remarks stating that the Dravidian model is regressive politics, and in a gathering of civil aspirants, he advised them that in matters of dispute between Centre and State, they should always undoubtedly take the side of the Centre. He went on to show the impertinence of changing the name of the state of Tamil Nadu itself!Likewise, former Jharkhand governor (now Maharashtra governor) Ramesh Bais withheld the opinion of the Election Commission in Hemant Soren’s office of profit case and did not act on it, thereby causing chaos and destabilising the House. In fact, by keeping the EC’s verdict a secret, despite repeated requests by both Chief Minister Soren and the ruling UPA, he violated Article 192(2) of the Constitution, which says that he “shall act” according to such opinion. Thereafter, in a move that casts serious aspersions on his bonafides, Bais claimed that his delay in revealing the EC’s report was due to his taking a “second opinion”. Second opinion? Even by a charitable interpretation, it was not only facetious but betrayed his utter ignorance of the Constitution. The “opinion” in this case is a quasi judicial order of the Election Commission, where a governor (or even the President in the case of MPs) cannot change even a comma and has to implement it in toto. The Constitution has mandated the word of EC to be final in the matter of disqualification in an office of profit case.The act of the governor keeping to himself the “opinion” of the EC is a mystery. If the EC found Soren guilty of holding an “office of profit”, the governor should have lost no time in sacking him. If the EC’s verdict was “not guilty”, he should have made it public to remove the uncertainty hanging over the government. The suspense was enough for an exodus to start from the government, which is presumably what the governor intended. Soren’s act of seeking a vote of confidence preempted that but even he probably didn’t know the law. If the EC had found him guilty, no vote of confidence could have saved him. The vote was irrelevant. All this political drama would have been avoided if the governor had not kept EC’s opinion close to his chest. It was not his personal property to sit over. Article 192(2) clearly says that the governor “shall act” according to the opinion. By not acting, he was clearly in violation of the Constitution.As an unelected appointee of the Centre, the governor is expected to not get involved in political controversies or ideological rifts. He must display non-partisan statesmanship, not turn confrontational and meddlesome in legislative matters. It is also necessary to restrict the discretionary powers of the governor because a politically-active and partisan governor would be usurping the power of elected representatives.The question mark on the role of governors is not a new phenomenon. Demands have been raised ranging from restricting their discretionary powers to even abolishing the post. Their questionable role in the wake of an election to invite a leader to form the government has often been observed. A hung mandate becomes a fertile ground for some governors who are happy to play the puppet in the hands of an overbearing Centre. Laying down a clear procedure in cases of a hung mandate would do great good to Indian democracy.The Justice Sarkaria Commission, set up in 1983 to examine the relationship and balance of power between state and central governments, had recommended the following order to be followed by a governor in cases of a hung assembly: One, an alliance of parties that was formed prior to the elections; two, the single largest party staking a claim to form the government with the support of others, including independents; three, a post-electoral coalition of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the government; four, a post-electoral alliance of parties, with some of the parties in the alliance forming a government and the remaining parties, including independents, supporting the government from outside. Two decades later, Justice Punchhi Committee (2007) reiterated the recommendations, but successive governments have not bothered to take it seriously.History has shown that constitutional morality and values are too serious to be left to the discretion of governors. We must design institutional safeguards to ensure that governors do not cross the Lakshman Rekha. The Sarkaria and Punchhi commissions have dealt with the subject at length. To strengthen our democracy and its federal structure, we need to act. And, urgently.Quraishi is former Chief Election Commissioner of India and the author of An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election
The Election Commission recognised the faction led by E Shinde as the Shiv Sena. (FILE)Khed (Maha): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray accusing him of attempting to destroy the careers of leaders of his own party.Addressing a rally at Khed in Ratnagiri district from the same venue where Mr Thackeray had addressed a gathering a fortnight ago, Mr Shinde said he was the true inheritor of the legacy of Bal Thackeray, founder of Shiv Sena.The Election Commission recently recognised the faction led by Mr Shinde as the Shiv Sena and allotted it the "bow and arrow" poll symbol.Mr Shinde, whose coup against Uddhav Thackeray had split the Shiv Sena last year and toppled the MVA government led by Mr Thackeray, said he had never seen a leader who conspires with other political parties to destroy the political careers of his own people.He took the names of Raj Thackeray (MNS chief) and Narayan Rane among others, who had quit Shiv Sena a long time ago.''How will the party grow in such a situation? I am not 'gaddar' (traitor) but 'khuddar' (a self-respecting person). Uddhav Thackeray doesn't have the right to call us traitors," he said.Senior leaders like Gajanan Kirtikar, Ramdas Kadam and others had worked shoulder to shoulder with Balasaheb to strengthen the Shiv Sena, but you call them traitors. "There is a limit to exercise restrain,'' Mr Shinde added."I am not a chief minister who gives orders sitting at home but I believe in going to the field during the time of crisis. I was infected with the coronavirus twice. I have always worked on the field, but you call me a traitor,'' he said targetting Mr Thackeray.Mr Thackeray was accused by the Opposition BJP and the Shinde camp of running the government from the comfort of his private residence in Mumbai during his tenure as the chief minister when the pandemic had wreaked havoc."Uddhav Thackeray may be the heir to Balasaheb Thackeray's wealth but not to the ideology which he has mortgaged to the Congress and the NCP to become the chief minister (in November 2019). I am the inheritor of Balasaheb's ideology and legacy," Mr Shinde said.He said Uddhav Thackeray should know that Balasaheb was much bigger than just being his (Uddhav's) father and he should stop harping on the same to gain "sympathy"."I don't want your wealth. Balasaheb may be your father but don't keep harping on that to gain sympathy. Balasaheb was much bigger than just being your father,'' Mr Shinde charged.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe also targeted the Congress party and said Shiv Sainiks need to choose between Rahul Gandhi "who can't win state elections and cannot take responsibility for his party and the nationalist and patriotic prime minister Narendra Modi". (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
A majority of homes without toilets, no connectivity to the main road, and sewage spilling onto the streets. In Budh Nagar village of Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh, the problems are many.The village made headlines earlier this month when a local journalist was arrested, soon after asking a state minister questions about lack of development works.Sitting in her home, 80-year-old Shivdei says she doesn’t have hopes of using a toilet in her lifetime. Hers is one of the many homes in the village of roughly 1,000 people without a toilet.Local leaders say Budh Nagar is one of three villages governed by a single panchayat, and the largest one, Khandua, managed to corner a majority of funds for building toilets inside homes, so much so that some homes there have more than one.“It is even worse for people of my age, going to the fields day and night to relieve ourselves,” Shivdei said.Birpal Singh (45), another resident, said election promises have barely translated into palpable changes on the ground. “People we voted for have gone on to become MLAs, ministers, MPs, but we have remained where we were. Netas making claims about open defecation-free villages should visit this place,” he said, adding that all 10 members of his family use the fields to relieve themselves.“There are other problems too. You won’t be able to walk during the rainy season. There is no pucca road, no drainage system, the sewage flows where we walk, and there’s no concept of waste disposal,” Singh said.Questions on the lack of a public toilet, marriage hall and a proper road were also posed by the journalist, Sanjay Rana, to Gulab Devi, UP’s Minister of State (independent charge) for Secondary Education, when she visited the village on March 11 for an event. She is also the local MLA.After the event, local BJP leader Shubham Raghav, the BJYM district general secretary, filed a police complaint alleging that Rana interfered with government work and also assaulted him. Police arrested Rana under Section 151 of CrPC, intended to be used to prevent the commission of cognizable offences. He was let out on bail later.A journalist with Moradabad Ujala, Rana said he was in custody for 30 hours. “I do not know about the complainant; I never met that person. They handcuffed and paraded me in front of villagers as if I had committed any crime. You can see for yourself if I asked the minister anything wrong. We have voted for her, we have the right to hold her accountable,” he said.When The Sunday Express contacted Gulab Devi, she said a road had been sanctioned from her MLA funds and would be constructed soon.“There is a requirement of a drain in the village; that too will be constructed soon from the Zila Panchayat fund. There is also a need to make a boundary of the school in the village. I will see if this work can be done with MLA funds. It has come to my notice that there are few toilets in the village. A survey will be conducted regarding this and a toilet will be built for those who do not have one,” she said.Sanitation is a key crisis facing the village. There is just one safai karamchari for three villages, and while some internal roads have been built, they lack a proper drainage facility, because of which sewage overflows and accumulates near the primary school.“Last year, during the election, Gulab Devi promised a road to connect our village to the main road, but work has not started so far. Under such circumstances, are people really wrong for asking questions to its representative?” said Khempal Singh (60), a farmer who also works as a labourer to make ends meet. “There is no pond, no marriage hall. These aren’t big demands.”Another farmer, Charan Singh, 42, said many villagers are struggling to get a house under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana, or old-age and widow pensions they are entitled to. “When we ask officials, they just say ‘will let you know when the money arrives’. They do not tell us if the application has been accepted or not,” he said.Mahendra Singh, husband of the village pradhan Bhagwan Devi, said a drainage line is being constructed and will be completed soon. “We are continuously writing to authorities to sanction the funds, so these works can be done soon. Government land has been identified for the construction of a pond,” he said.
BJP said no formal decision had been taken so far on sharing of the seats.Nagpur: The Bharatiya Janta Party and the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will contest all 288 Assembly and 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in alliance with other NDA constituents, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule said on Saturday.He said no formal decision had been taken so far on sharing of the seats.His comments came amid reports that Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena was getting a raw deal regarding the allocation of seats for the upcoming polls. "The BJP and the Shiv Sena will contest 48 Lok Sabha seats and 288 Vidhan Sabha seats in alliance with other constituents of the NDA," Mr Bawankule said. The Assembly elections are due in Maharashtra in October 2024.He said the BJP and the Shiv Sena have started preparations to win 200 seats under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in coordination between Chief Minister Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.The Election Commission recently recognised the Shinde-led faction as Shiv Sena and allotted it the party's bow and arrow election symbol.Queried whether BJP will contest 240 seats and Shiv Sena 48 (of 288), Mr Bawankule said, "There was a meeting related to this and there will be meetings in future". "A clip was circulated by twisting it. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will contest 288 seats and win 200. No (seat-sharing) formula has been decided so far. The Central and state leadership will decide on it," he said in response to reports.Meanwhile, Maharashtra unit Nationalist Congress Party president Jayant Patil said the 2024 Assembly polls will be all about the BJP versus the Maha Vika Aghadi, and there will be a question mark on the existence of the Shiv Sena led by Shinde.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comTalking to reporters in Mumbai, Patil said he feels the BJP will contest all the 288 Assembly seats on its symbol as he expressed confidence that the Shinde group will cease to exist.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
As his son Bhushan Desai joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena Monday, Subhash Desai, a close aide of ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray and former industries minister, sought to put up a brave face, saying his son’s move was “painful” for him but it would not make any difference to the Uddhav-led Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).“My son has not been active in the Shiv Sena or politics. Therefore, his joining any party will not have any effect on Shiv Sena (UBT). My loyalty to the Shiv Sena, venerable Balasaheb, Uddhav saheb and Matoshree for more than five decades will remain unwavering… I am going to continue my work along with many other Shiv Sainiks till complete justice is served and the Shiv Sena regains its past glory,” Subhash said.A veteran Sena leader, Subhash, 80, is known to be a close lieutenant of Thackerays. He had been an associate of Bal Thackeray since the latter founded the Sena in the sixties.Subhash is among the rare old-time Sena leaders who managed to retain his position in the inner circle of Uddhav when he took control of the party more than a decade ago. Known as a strategist, he was one of the few leaders from the Sena’s old guard, who managed to keep himself relevant and close to Uddhav following the demise of Bal Thackeray in November 2012.A three-time MLA, Subhash has not won any Assembly election since 2009, but he was still inducted as a Sena minister and allotted the crucial industry portfolio in the BJP-Sena government during 2014-2019 as well as in the previous Uddhav-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.Hailing from Goregaon, considered to be among the Sena strongholds, Subhash lost the 2014 election from the constituency to the BJP’s Vidya Thakur, when both parties had contested against each other. The Uddhav-led Sena then got Subhash elected as an MLC, even as the party named him as one of its nominees in the cabinet, headed by the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, as the industries minister.A low-profile businessman, Bhushan, in his late 40s now, is not known to be active in political or social spheres. He runs two companies, of which one is related to food industry and the other to infrastructure.Bhushan however figures on the website of Goregaon’s Prabodhan organisation, where his name is mentioned as an executive committee member without a photograph. Prabodhan was founded by Subhash Desai.Bhushan was also in the news a few years ago after he bought an apartment worth Rs 33 crore in a Juhu highrise in Mumbai.Known for operating from behind the scenes, Bhushan had been on the radar of the then principal Opposition BJP during the MVA regime. The BJP then used to allege that Bhushan was calling the shots in the industries department headed by his father.About three months after it was formed following the collapse of the Uddhav government, in September 2022, the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government stayed over 191 Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land allotments made during the MVA regime when Subhash was the industries minister. While the new dispensation later lifted the stay, it was then said that the government was probing alleged irregularities in these land allotments.During the winter session of the state Assembly in December 2022, BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar was among the ruling party’s MLAs who had raised the demand to probe Bhushan.“Around 4,14,000 square metre land of the MIDC reserved for industrial use was converted for residential purposes, which is illegal. It cost Rs 3,109 crore to the state exchequer, which is the market value of these lands. This was done during Covid-19 period when people were searching for beds, oxygen and remdesivir. We demand an inquiry against Bhushan Subhash Desai, who did this. It should be probed as to whether the money involved in this reached Matoshri?” Bhatkhalkar had then alleged while speaking to reporters outside the Assembly.Bhatkhalkar also said the current industries minister Uday Samant had announced that he will probe the matter. Samant is one of the key aides of CM Shinde, whose rebellion toppled the Uddhav government with the support of the BJP.However, barely three months down the line, Bhushan joined the stage with CM Shinde and took a saffron flag as the latter welcomed him into his party fold.“Seeing the constructive and progressive work we are doing, he (Bhushan) joined us. Everyone has their own opinion. He joined us on his own. There was no pressure on him,” Shinde told the press conference.On his part, Bhushan said, “It is Shinde who is taking forward Balasaheb’s thoughts and dreams. I trust him and I have experienced how he works. I have taken the decision after seeing him and being inspired by his functioning.”When asked whether there was any pressure on him as he faced allegations of corruption in the MIDC when his father was the industries minister, Bhushan said it was his “personal choice” to join the Shinde Sena.However, now the Uddhav Sena fired salvos at Bhushan and the Shinde-Fadnavis dispensation over the MIDC row.Sena (UBT) MLA and Uddhav’s son, Aaditya Thackeray, in a veiled reference to the MIDC corruption charges against Bhushan, said: “Those who want to go to the washing machine to get themselves cleaned, must go. But Subhash Desai is still with us and will not leave us come what may. Bhushan was not with us and he can join whoever he wishes to.”Another Uddhav Sena MLA, Vaibhav Naik, said, “Bhushan must be under pressure as there could be probe initiated against him for misusing his father’s ministership for himself. He did no work for the party or Sena MLAs.”
Indian democracy and its constitutional ideals have been served well by the nation’s Supreme Court over the years. Its judgments have expanded the frontiers of human rights and deepened Indian democracy. On some occasions, however, its decisions, although inspired by high purpose, have been criticised for their questionable logic and non-deference to the boundaries of judicial power. The Court’s recent decision in Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India, popularly known as the Election Commission judgment, is with utmost deference to the Law Lords, a case in point.The judgment holds that hereafter, and until such time as Parliament enacts a law contemplated under Article 324(2), appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners shall be made by the President on the advice of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition of the Lok Sabha and in case no Leader of the Opposition is available, the Leader of the largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha in terms of numerical strength, and the Chief Justice of India.The judgment is questionable on several grounds. The Court erroneously locates the constitutional intent behind Article 324(2) in the Constituent Assembly debates, contrary to its plain language and settled principles of statutory interpretation, which posit that a speech made in the course of a legislative debate is at best indicative of the subjective intent of the speaker and cannot prevail over the plain words of a constitutional text. The language of the provision is self-explanatory and reads thus:Article 324: “The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President…”To read the words “subject to the provision of any law to be made by Parliament” in Article 324(2), not as a parliamentary option but a constitutional command to Parliament to peremptorily enact a different stand-alone law, is a fraught exercise in stretched constitutionalism.Indeed, the absence of law contemplated in Article 324 (2) for the last seven decades represents a conscious legislative rejection of a special law on a subject covered by the constitutional provision. Such a decision is entitled to judicial deference premised on cooperation between the three organs of the State which share a “fractured” constitutional power and responsibility. The election watchdog’s generally appreciated discharge of its plenary remit under Article 324, some exceptions notwithstanding, could have dispelled the Court’s apprehension that the extant system of appointments to the election body cannot yield appointments of persons capable of ensuring the commission’s institutional independence.In the facts of the case, the Court’s rightful refusal to grant a writ of mandamus does not sit well with its operative directions, which indirectly serve the same purpose and betray a structural inconsistency in its logic. Also, an unprecedented direction of the Court regarding the contours of a proposed future law is a fatal jurisdictional error, being wholly inconsistent with the philosophy of parliamentary democracy predicated on the law-making function as an exclusive preserve of the legislature.Notwithstanding Justice Cardozo’s cited caution, the Court allowed itself to pursue “its own ideal of beauty or of goodness”, disregarding a salutary principle of democratic constitutionalism that courts cannot invent a moral norm to limit an express constitutional intendment or to justify a preferred interpretation. The judgment also does not sit well with Jethro Brown’s wisdom, that “…often there are no gaps…” and that “we shall have a false view of the landscape if we look at the waste spaces only and refuse to see the acres already sown and fruitful…”It is submitted that the institutional integrity of the Election Commission in a functional democracy can be best secured through processes that recognise the bounds of constitutional power. Constitutional change is a function of parliamentary processes and democratic politics in action. A virtual judicial rewriting of Article 324(2) in Anoop Baranwal by imagining an absence of law is a foray into dangerous territory. It can fuel intra institutional conflict and infract “inter-branch equality”, thereby upsetting the delicate equilibrium of power dispersed between the designated organs of the State. Indeed, the unambiguous articulation of constitutional intent in Article 324 (2) does not admit of “judicial valour”. Only by recognising the limitations of judicial power can we ensure a continuing interpretative finality vested in the highest Court. The Court may wish to ask itself whether, consistent with the stabilising function of judicial restraint and to secure comity between constitutional institutions, it could have avoided a scathing censure of the executive and legislative branches for a perceived “legislative lassitude”, for which, with apologies to their Lordships, the governorship of the nation by “the brethren in black robes” can hardly be our answer.Indisputably, a steadfast commitment to balanced constitutionalism is an absolute imperative to reinforce the foundations of our constitutional democracy.The writer is Senior Advocate, Supreme Court and former Union Minister for Law and Justice
The Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition in Maharashtra lost power after a coup by Eknath ShindeNew Delhi: A Governor must exercise power cautiously and be aware that calling for a trust vote could bring down the government, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday in sharp remarks while hearing a case on the Shiv Sena coup. Calling for a trust vote just on grounds of differences within a ruling party can topple an elected government, said the court.Hearing the Sena versus Sena case, the Supreme Court made strong observations on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's role in the Maharashtra vote that unseated the Uddhav Thackeray-led government last year."The Governor must be conscious that calling for a trust vote may lead to the toppling of the government," said a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud."The Governor should not enter any area which precipitates the fall of a government. People will start ditching the ruling party and the Governor will end up toppling the ruling party. This will be a sad spectacle for democracy," said the judges, adding that governors must exercise their powers with the greatest circumspection.The three-year-old Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena-NCP-Congress coalition in Maharashtra lost power after a coup in the Shiv Sena by Eknath Shinde, who went on to form a new government with the BJP in June.Mr Koshyari had asked for a test of majority, but Mr Thackeray resigned, facing defeat, making way for Mr Shinde to take power.The factions led by Mr Thackeray and Eknath Shinde have since been fighting for recognition as the "real Shiv Sena".Last month, the Election Commission handed over the Shiv Sena name and poll symbol to the Eknath Shinde faction.Mr Thackeray, despite losing control of the party founded by his father Bal Thackeray, continues to fight the Shinde faction in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is hearing petitions that question the foundation of the Shinde government, arguing that Mr Shinde and 15 other rebels were disqualified at the time of the trust vote.Chief Justice Chandrachud commented during the hearing: "They broke bread for three years. They broke bread with (Congress) and NCP for three years. What happened overnight after three years of happy marriage?"The Governor, he said, has to ask himself this question - "What were you fellas doing for three years? If it was one month after the election takes place and they suddenly bypassed the BJP and joined INC, that's different. Three years you cohabit and suddenly one fine day group of 34 say there is discontent. Enjoying the spoils of office and suddenly one day you just..."What was the basis for a floor test, the bench asked repeatedly."Governor's trust vote is where the majority in the house is shaken. Where was there anything to indicate that?" Justice Chandrachud questioned."Difference of opinion among MLAs within a party can be on any ground like payment of development fund or deviation from party ethos but can that be a sufficient ground for the governor to call for the floor test? Governor cannot lend his office to effectuate a particular result."PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comWhen the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the rebels had lost confidence in Uddhav Thackeray, Justice Chandrachud said: "Discontent in the party by itself will not justify governor calling a trust vote."The Chief Justice said the Governor cannot be oblivious of the fact that in a three-party coalition, dissent took place only in one.
In a setback to Uddhav Thackeray, former Maharashtra health minister Deepak Sawant on Wednesday joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Sawant joined the Sena in the presence of chief minister Shinde. Sawant was an MLC of then united Shiv Sena and was cabinet minister for public health from 2014 to 2018 in the Devendra Fadanvis-led government. He was dropped from the cabinet and denied ticket for legislative council election by Uddhav Thackeray in 2018.
Uddhav Thackeray's aide's son has joined Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction. (File)Mumbai: Senior Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Subhash Desai's son Bhushan Desai joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction of the party on Monday, dealing a jolt to the rival camp.Terming the development as distressing, the Desai senior (80), a key aide of former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, said his son's move will not in any way change his loyalty towards the party and the Thackeray family.Bhushan Desai had no role in politics or the Shiv Sena (UBT), the octogenarian leader said, seeking to downplay his son's entry into the ruling outfit which has been allotted the party name and the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol by the Election Commission.Bhushan Desai was inducted into the Shiv Sena fold in the presence of Chief Minister Shinde.The development is being viewed in political circles as a jolt to the Thackeray-led camp because of the Desai senior's closeness to the Thackerays.A crucial member of Uddhav Thackeray's inner circle, Subhash Desai, seen as a suave face of the party, was instrumental in starting the Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' along with Uddhav Thackeray.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe former state industries minister is also one of the few active leaders to have worked with Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRahul Gandhi Crossed Line Or Centre Overreacted? The "Democracy" Comment Row
Deepak Sawant joined the Sena in the presence of chief minister Eknath Shinde.Mumbai: In a setback to Uddhav Thackeray, former Maharashtra health minister Deepak Sawant on Wednesday joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.Deepak Sawant joined the Sena in the presence of chief minister Shinde.Mr Sawant was an MLC of then united Shiv Sena and was a cabinet minister for public health from 2014 to 2018 in the Devendra Fadanvis-led government.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe was dropped from the cabinet and denied a ticket for the legislative council election by Uddhav Thackeray in 2018.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
he hearing remained inconclusive and will continue on Wednesday.New Delhi: The ruling Eknath Shinde camp in Maharashtra told the Supreme Court on Tuesday the rival side led by Uddhav Thackeray wanted the Speaker of the state assembly to "usurp" the powers of the Election Commission when the ultimate test of majority in a democracy- the floor test- was ordered by the governor during the 2022 political crisis.Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for the Shinde bloc of the erstwhile undivided Shiv Sena, told a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud that a nine-judge constitution bench of the court had in its 1994 verdict said a floor test is the litmus test of democracy and a Chief Minister cannot shy away from it. Kaul told the bench, also comprising Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha that if the Chief Minister shirks the responsibility of facing the floor test, it means he does not enjoy the majority of the House.Kaul said it is a settled law that the Speaker of the House has to take a prima facie view of whether a split had occurred in a political party based on the material placed before him and he cannot embark on a roving inquiry.Justice Narasimha told Kaul, "Our difficulty is that you are formulating a principle of prima facie view. Difference between a split and rival faction is very thin. It is very easy for a Speaker to say prima facie it is a case of split or not."But we are on the question as to what should be the contours for the Speaker to take a prima facie view. It is a slippery ground because Speaker is asked to take a prima facie view based on the material placed before him like signatures of MLAs and others. How much material should be there to enable a Speaker to take a prima facie view?" Justice Narasimha said.A political party and the legislative party are conjoined and interdependent and these cannot be segregated, Kaul submitted while apparently referring to the Thackeray faction's contention earlier that the Shiv Sena had not split because of the revolt by a section of the party led by Shinde."Dissent is the hallmark of democracy. Argument from other side is that we (Eknath Shinde faction) represent legislative party and not original political party is a fallacy. This court has said that Speaker will not embark on an independent inquiry on whether there is split in the party, dehors (without) disqualification. With respect to disqualification, only a prima facie view has to be taken by the Speaker but they (Uddhav faction) are asking Speaker to usurp what he doesn't have," Kaul said."They want Speaker to embark on jurisdiction which is of Election Commission and they want Governor to exercise jurisdiction which the Election Commission has. Governor cannot indulge in head count sitting in Raj Bhawan but can ask for proving majority on the floor of the House," Kaul argued.The Governor has to take a prima facie view based on cogent material before him like withdrawal of support to the ruling party, and ask for a floor test as early as possible because it is the "only litmus test in democracy", he said.Kaul added the argument of the Uddhav Thackeray faction is that the June 27 last year order of the court toppled the state government but the fact is that this court intervened only after the Speaker gave two days to the Shinde group to reply to the show cause notices that too on weekdays.The Thackeray faction had earlier told the top court the formation of a new government under Shinde was the "direct and inevitable result" of two orders of the court dated June 27, 2022 (restraining the Speaker from deciding the pending disqualification petitions) and June 29, 2022 (allowing the trust vote to be held). It had said the two orders "disturbed the co-equal and mutual balance" between judicial and legislative organs of the State.Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, also appearing for the Shinde faction, said there was simmering discontent and division among not only the party cadres but also its legislators which was evident from the statements made by different MLAs from time to time since the inception of the post-poll alliance called Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)."The irreconcilable differences arose on June 21 last year over longstanding ideological divide with coalition partners-Congress and NCP- and the first salvo was fired by Uddhav Thackeray faction after they removed Eknath Shinde as leader of legislative party and a whip was issued to MLAs that party meeting is scheduled to be held at the house of then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. After that there was no possibility of reconciliation as party forums became irrelevant," he said.Senior advocate Maninder Singh, also appearing for the Shinde faction, said when splinter groups or rival sections of a political party raise a claim about being "the recognized political party", the situation squarely falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Election Commission.The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue on Wednesday.On March 2, the Shinde faction had told the top court that the pleas related to the June 2022 Maharashtra political crisis fell within the realm of politics and judiciary cannot be asked to adjudicate the issue.A political crisis had erupted in Maharashtra after an open revolt in the Shiv Sena, and on June 29, 2022, the apex court refused to stay the Maharashtra governor's direction to the 31-month-old MVA government to take a floor test in the assembly to prove its majority.Sensing defeat, Thackeray had resigned, paving the way for a government led by Shinde.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn August 23, 2022, a three-judge bench of the top court headed by then chief justice N V Ramana had formulated several questions of law and referred to the five-judge bench petitions filed by the two Sena factions which raised several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
A five-judge Supreme Court bench is hearing the matter. (File)New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde could not have been sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra if the assembly speaker was not restrained from deciding the disqualification petitions pending against 39 MLAs, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said.The Shinde faction told the court that even if 39 MLAs would have been disqualified from the assembly, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government would have fallen because it had lost majority and the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had resigned before the floor test.The Thackeray faction had earlier told the court that the formation of a new government in Maharashtra under Shinde was the "direct and inevitable result" of two orders of the Supreme Court dated June 27, 2022 (restraining the speaker from deciding the pending disqualification petitions) and June 29, 2022 (allowing the trust vote to be held) and had "disturbed the co-equal and mutual balance" between judicial and legislative organs of the State.A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud told senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Shinde bloc, "They (Uddhav faction) are right to this extent that Eknath Shinde was sworn in as chief minister by the governor and was able to prove his majority because the speaker was not able to proceed with the disqualification proceedings against him and other MLAs." Mr Kaul said that just after June 29, 2022, Mr Thackeray had resigned because he knew that he did not have a majority and in the floor test held on July 4, last year, his coalition had got only 99 votes as 13 of MVA legislators had abstained from voting.On July 4, last year, Mr Shinde had won the crucial floor test in the state assembly with the support of BJP and independents. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs had voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it.Mr Kaul said, "They (Thackeray faction) knew that they did not have a majority and even his 13 MLAs, who were earlier supporting them had abstained from voting in floor test. Shinde and other MLAs could not have been disqualified as the 2016 Nabam Rebia verdict of the top court would have come into play, which said that the Speaker could not decide on the disqualification petitions, if a motion for his removal was pending. Until he is disqualified, he continues to be the member of the house."The bench after perusing a chart of voting in floor test given by Mr Kaul said that even if the court assumed that 2016 Nabam Rebia verdict did not exist, the speaker would have proceeded to disqualify those MLAs but yes, even if they had been disqualified, even then the government would have fallen.Mr Kaul said, "Exactly. The chief minister had resigned before the floor test and the combination which came forward before the governor was asked by him to prove his majority on the floor of the house. I say, what is wrong in it? What else could he (governor) have done." At the outset, Mr Kaul submitted that Shinde faction was never against Thackeray but was against the party continuing in the MVA and even their resolution dated June 21, 2022 said that there was widespread discontent among cadres."Our case was never that we were against the then chief minister but we were against the MVA coalition. Shiv Sena had a pre-poll alliance with BJP and after the election, we formed a government with the help of the NCP and Congress, against whom we contested the election. We said in our resolution that there was widespread discontent among party workers," he said.He submitted that the Uddhav faction has tried to confuse powers of three constitutional authorities - Governor, Speaker and the Election Commission - and now want that everything should be set aside including July 4, last year floor test. "Legislative party is an integral part of the original political party. We have raised our voice in the party. The very act of filing disqualification petitions with the speaker by them (Uddhav faction) was to stifle dissent. Internal dissent within the party does not qualify for disqualification under the tenth schedule," Mr Kaul submitted.The hearing remained inconclusive and would continue on Thursday.On Tuesday, the court had asked the Shinde-led faction if its move to go against the Shiv Sena party's wish to continue with the coalition in the MVA amounted to indiscipline leading to disqualification.Defending its stand, the Shinde faction said the legislative party is an integral part of the original political party and informed that there were two whips appointed by the party in June last year and it went with the one that said it did not want to continue in the coalition.On February 23, the Uddhav faction told the court that the formation of a new government in Maharashtra under Mr Shinde was the "direct and inevitable result" of two orders of the court that "disturbed the co-equal and mutual balance" between judicial and legislative organs of the State.A political crisis had erupted in Maharashtra after an open revolt in the Sena and, on June 29, 2022, the court refused to stay the Maharashtra governor's direction to the 31-month-old MVA government to take a floor test in the assembly to prove its majority.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn August 23, 2022, a three-judge bench of the top court headed by then chief justice N V Ramana had formulated several questions of law and referred to the five-judge bench petitions filed by the two Sena factions which raised several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The Day"Exit Polls Don't Reflect Actual Political Scenario": CPM Leader On Congress-Left Tripura Results
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has written a letter to the state Legislative Council's deputy chairperson seeking that Viplove Bajoria be made the Shiv Sena's chief whip in the Upper House, a move apparently aimed at further cornering the faction led by former CM Uddhav Thackeray.Currently, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLC Anil Parab is the party's chief whip in the House.Shinde has given the letter to state Legislative Council's deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe, who is part of the Thackeray camp. The Budget session of the Maharashtra legislature began on Monday.Bharat Gogawale, the Shiv Sena's chief whip in the state Assembly, on Sunday evening said, “We have issued a whip to all MLAs of the Shiv Sena asking them to remain present full-time during the Budget session. If any legislator does not follow it, he/she will face action." The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shinde bloc in the state currently does not have a majority in the Upper House.Amid the high decibel political and legal battle between rival Shiv Sena groups, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar last week said he has not got representation from any group claiming to be a separate party in the Lower House.The Speaker told PTI that there is only one Shiv Sena with 55 MLAs which is led by Shinde and legislator Bharat Gogawale has been recognised as its chief whip.Narvekar has approved the appointment of Shinde as the legislature party leader Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gogawale said, “We have given a letter asking the Legislative Council's deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe to appoint Viplove Bajoria as the Shiv Sena's chief whip in the House. Gorhe will have to accept it. Shinde is the Shiv Sena leader and accepting his letter to change the chief whip is the precedence.” The Election Commission has already allotted the name Shiv Sena and its symbol (bow and arrow) will remain with Chief Minister Shinde, he said.Notably, during a hearing in the Supreme Court last week over the Uddhav Thackeray faction's plea challenging the decision of the Election Commission recognising the Shinde-led bloc as the real Shiv Sena, senior advocate N K Kaul, appearing for the Shinde bloc, assured the SC bench it will not take steps like issuing whip or initiation of disqualification proceedings against lawmakers – MLAs, MLCs and MPs – of the Thackeray faction for the time being.The assurance came after senior advocate A M Singhvi, also appearing for Thackeray, had raised apprehension, saying “Tomorrow, if they issue a whip or a letter and if we do not do it then we will be disqualified. Now they are the party. I have no protection. Your lordships should give us the status quo at least.” This had led the SC bench to ask: “If we take this (petition for hearing) after two weeks, are you in the process of issuing a whip or disqualifying them.” “No, no,” responded Kaul.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comWhen asked about it, Gogawale said, “We have been asked not to take any action against the Thackeray camp. We can still issue a whip and ask all the members to remain present full-time during the session.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
He dared Ekanth Shinde and Bharatiya Janata Party to contest polls.Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray today attacked the Election Commission for declaring the party faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena and allotting it the 'bow and arrow' symbol.Mr Thackeray said he no longer had trust in the top poll body, adding it should be called "Election Chuna Lagao Aayog". "Chuna lagana" is street lingo for defrauding somebody."The Election Commission is bogus. It should be called the Election Chuna Lagao Aayog. We have lost trust in it," Mr Thackeray said at a party event on the occasion of Marathi Language Day.He claimed the Election Commission should not have given its decision on the party name and symbol when hearings connected to it were underway in the Supreme Court.The former CM said the EC had given a symbol each to Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party factions headed by party founder late Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag and Paswan's brother Pashupati Kumar Paras in a dispute similar to the one in the Sena.However, both the factions are quiet over it as they are with the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party, Mr Thackeray alleged.He claimed parties had begun uniting against the BJP and referred to his meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his conversations with West Bengal and Bihar CMs Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, respectively.He said if the opposition does not come together against the BJP, the 2024 Lok Sabha polls could be the last in the country.Attacking Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and his supporters, Thackeray said they were "creepers" who had started thinking of themselves as the host tree.Those who don't have values resort to stealing, Mr Thackeray said in a swipe at the Shinde faction, though he did not name anybody.He dared Mr Shinde and Bharatiya Janata Party to contest polls.Mr Shinde had rebelled against Thackeray in June last year, which split the Shiv Sena and brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi government also comprising the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde became CM with the support of the BJP.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayAbout Shahid Kapoor's Monday: Smile, Pose, Repeat
Eknath Shinde said the Election Commission of India (ECI) is an independent body.Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday said the Election Commission of India (ECI) is an independent body that takes decisions on merit, and his government has been formed under the rules.Mr Shinde's statement comes after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar alleged that the BJP misused its power to influence the Election Commission's decision on the Shiv Sena name and symbol."Election Commission is an independent body which takes decisions on merit. Our government has been formed under the rules," said Mr Shinde.Mr Pawar criticised the EC's decision to allot the Shiv Sena name and 'bow and arrow' symbol to Mr Shinde's faction, terming it an example of "misuse of power" by the BJP."Election Commission gave a decision a few days ago. This is an example of how an institution can be misused. We've never seen such a decision by EC. There were many issues taken to the EC so far, but it never took such a decision where it gave a political party to somebody else after snatching it from the real one. We all know that Balasaheb Thackeray gave birth to Shiv Sena and he during his last days said that Udhhav Thackeray would hold the party's responsibility after him," Mr Pawar said addressing the members of the minority community in Pune.Mr Pawar said, "Someone complained to the EC something and it gave the verdict and allotted the Shiv Sena and its symbol to someone else from those who formed this party. This is a big attack on political parties."Taking potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he alleged that the Election Commission took a decision favouring the ones in power at the Centre."Every central agency, including ECI, is giving verdicts as desired by the people who are in power in the country. This is a threat that has now reached the political parties. It is a huge attack on democracy, which is not going to stop as it will decide who will run the country," Mr Pawar said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comLast week, the Election Commission of India allotted the name Shiv Sena and the party symbol of 'Bow and Arrow' to the Eknath Shinde faction. This came as a huge blow to the Uddhav Thackeray faction, which has been fighting to stake a claim over the party's name and symbol after Mr Shinde's rebellion last year.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The Day"Regrettable": India Slams Pak Over Jammu And Kashmir Reference In UN
THANE: A delegation of Samata Party from Bihar met CM Eknath Shinde and sought his help in getting back its 'mashaal' election symbol that has been allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction. The delegation, led by party president Uday Mandal, met Shinde at his office in Thane on Tuesday evening, according to a release from Shinde's office. The delegation told Shinde Samata Party was an old political outfit and "mashaal" was its symbol. But after change in guard in Maharashtra, EC allotted it to the Uddhav faction, the release said. The Uddhav team has been allowed to use the symbol until the February 26 byelections. The delegation told Shinde they would challenge EC's decision in SC to get back their symbol, the release added. The delegation sought CM's help in getting back Samata's symbol the way he got the 'bow and arrow' symbol. While allotting the 'mashaal' symbol to Thackeray, the election commission had said it was not in the list of free symbols and was an "erstwhile reserved symbol" of the now-derecognised Samata Party but it had decided to allot it on a request to declare it a free symbol.
The Election Commission has recognised the faction led by Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena.Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said today that his faction of the Shiv Sena received the "bow and arrow" symbol due to the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.He was speaking at an event in Pune, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the first phase of "Shivsrushti", a theme park based on the life of Shivaji Maharaj, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the founder of Maratha empire."We will leave no stone unturned for the 'Shivsrushti' project. Amit Shah is here today and many of you may not know that he is a staunch devotee of Shivaji Maharaj. He has done a huge study about the Maratha rulers and Shivaji Maharaj. He is also writing a book which will soon to be published... We received the bow and arrow symbol with the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," Mr Shinde said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn Friday, the Election Commission had recognised the faction led by Mr Shinde as the real Shiv Sena and ordered allocation of the "bow and arrow" poll symbol to it, delivering a big blow to the rival camp led by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966.On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis also praised the Union Minister, saying, "Amit Shah ji has done immense research on the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He is writing a book on Shivaji Maharaj. The first phase of Shivsrushti is inaugurated by the right person".Featured Video Of The DayOn Camera, Teen Dragged By Hair After Being Stabbed By Man She Rejected
MUMBAI: In a remark aimed at Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday told his supporters that the party's 'bow and arrow' symbol has been stolen and the thief needs to be taught a lesson. Eknath Shinde faction is the real Shiv Sena, rules Election Commission, gets 'dhanush baan' symbol, setback for Uddhav ThackerayThackeray was addressing his supporters outside 'Matoshree', his residence at Bandra in Mumbai before chairing a meeting of party leaders. In a big blow to Thackeray, the Election Commission (EC) on Friday allotted the name 'Shiv Sena' and its poll symbol 'bow and arrow' to the group led by CM Shinde. This is for the first time that the Thackeray family has lost control of the party that was founded in 1966 by Bal Thackeray on the principles of justice for the sons of the soil.Read AlsoIt is victory of ideologies of Balasaheb, says Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on EC order over Shiv Sena's name and symbol; Uddhav Thackeray condemns decision, says he will move SCExpressing his gratitude towards ECI, the chief minister said, "This country runs on the Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Ambedkar. We formed our government on the basis of that Constitution. The EC order that came today is on the basis of merit. I express my gratitude to the Election Commission.""The bow and arrow have been stolen. The thief needs to be taught a lesson. He has been caught. I challenge the thief to come out on the field with a bow and arrow and we will counter it with a flaming torch," Thackeray said. Flaming torch is the symbol allotted to the Thackeray-led faction by the EC last year. The poll watchdog on Friday ruled that this symbol will remain with the Thackeray camp till the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad bypolls in Pune district. Byelections to these seats will be held on February 26.Maharashtra CM reacts on his faction being reportedly called ‘thieves’ by Uddhav ThackerayA large number of Thackeray loyalists gathered outside 'Matoshree' in a show of strength and raised slogans against Eknath Shinde and in support of Thackeray. Thackeray asked his party leaders to tour the state and mobilise the cadre, a party leader said.(With PTI inputs)
Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has slammed the Election Commission's decision to award the Shiv Sena name and the "bow and arrow" symbol to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, saying he has never seen such a decision from the poll body."Certain organisations have a responsibility to deal fairly with everyone," Mr Pawar said. "You must have seen a few days ago, the Election Commission gave a decision... have you ever seen the Election Commission take away the total control of one political party and give it to another? Never saw the EC take away total control of one party," Mr Pawar told reporters today.Mr Pawar had earlier advised ally Uddhav Thackeray to move on and "take a new symbol"."Once a decision is given (by the Election Commission), there can be no discussion... It (the loss of the old symbol) is not going to have any major impact as people will accept (the new symbol). It just would remain in the discussion for the next 15-30 days, that's it," Mr Pawar had said.He had later told the media that he does not wish to get more involved in the controversy.His comments today come as the Supreme Court said today that the Shiv Sena name and its election symbol will remain with Eknath Shinde's camp, and the "mashaal" or flaming torch symbol with Uddhav Thackeray for now.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comTeam Thackeray has gone to the Supreme Court, contending that the Election Commission has failed to consider that they enjoy majority in the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha.Instead, the Commission has based its decision on the purported legislative majority of the Shinde group, which is "not a safe guide". Whether the Shinde group will retain its numbers "is an issue to be determined by the top court in the Constitution Bench," said the Thackeray faction.
The Governor had sworn in Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as deputyPune: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday that the BJP's attempt to form a government with his nephew and NCP leader Ajit Pawar had one benefit as it ended the President's Rule in Maharashtra in 2019.His remarks prompted Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to assert that the NCP chief should also explain why the President's Rule was imposed in the state in the first place after the 2019 assembly polls.Addressing a press conference at Pimpri-Chinchwad, Sharad Pawar said that had the exercise not happened, the President's Rule would have continued in the state.He was replying to a question about Fandavis's claim that the formation of the government with Ajit Pawar had the backing of the NCP chief."There was an attempt to form a government. One benefit of that exercise was that it helped to lift the President's Rule in Maharashtra and everyone has witnessed what happened after that," he said.Asked if he was aware of the formation of such a government and why Ajit Pawar is tight-lipped on the issue, the NCP chief wondered if there was a need to speak about it."I just said that had this kind of exercise not happened, would the President's Rule have been lifted? Had the President's Rule not been lifted, would Uddhav Thackeray have been sworn in as the chief minister?" he asked.In one of the biggest political surprises in Maharashtra, then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had sworn in Mr Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister in an early morning ceremony on November 23, 2019.But the government lasted just three days, after which Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Chief Minister with the backing of the NCP and Congress.Asked if he was hinting that he was aware of the developments, the NCP chief quipped, "A person recently said that one person (Sharad Pawar) is responsible for anything that happens in Maharashtra."Speaking on the Election Commission's decision to recognise the Eknath Shinde-led group as the real Shiv Sena, Mr Pawar said differences are common in politics but it has never happened in the country that a party's name and symbol were "snatched away" by misusing power."When there was a split in the Congress, two entities named Congress (I) and Congress (S) emerged. I was the Congress (I) president and Indira Gandhi was the chief of Congress (I). That time, I had the right to use the Congress' name. In today's scenario, the party's name and its symbol have been given to others. Such a thing never happened in the history of India," said the veteran politician.Citing his experience, the NCP chief said that whenever there is "excessive misuse of power" and attempts are made to suppress a party, the public stands by that party."I recently travelled to many districts and found that though leaders have left the Shiv Sena, the staunch Shiv Sainiks (party workers) are still with Uddhav Thackeray and it will be proved in the elections," he said."Who took the decision? Was it (Election) Commission, or someone who is guiding the Commission? Such decisions were not made in the past. The role of a big power behind this cannot be ruled out," he said.The NCP refused to comment on what could be the Supreme Court's decision in the matter, saying, "It is the judiciary, and we believe in the judiciary."On former governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's interviews, which sparked controversies, Sharad Pawar said he is happy that Koshyari has quit."In Maharashtra, several governors came and everyone elevated the dignity of the governor's position but there is only one exception to that list and that is Koshyari," he said.Asked about Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut's 'threat to life' allegation and Congress leader Ashok Chavan's spying claims, Pawar said the prevailing situation in the state is not good."Those who have the responsibility of the state's law and order should keep a watch on the situation and conduct a thorough investigation," he said.About the National Investigation Agency's claim in the Bombay High Court that Gautam Navlakha, one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case, was in touch with Pakistan's spy agency ISI, Mr Pawar said he cannot speak on the issue as the matter is sub judice."I have read about the case. According to me, there can be ideological differences, but I do not think it is good to term someone anti-national just because the person's ideology is opposite," he said.Before the press conference, Pawar took part in an election meeting in Pimpri-Chinchwad in support of NCP's candidate Nana Kate, who is contesting the bypoll in the Chinchwad constituency against BJP's Ashwini Jagtap.Referring to the NCP chief's remarks, Deputy CM and BJP leader Fadnavis said he should also explain why the President's Rule was imposed in Maharashtra in the first place after the 2019 assembly polls.The Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray and the BJP had fallen apart after the 2019 state polls over the post of the chief minister. Thackeray then joined hands with the NCP and Congress to former the government under the banner of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Fadnavis said, "If Pawar has explained about the lifting of the President's Rule, then he should also explain on whose instructions it was imposed in the first place. Who asked to impose it, why it came into effect are the questions he should also answer."PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Deputy Chief Minister added, "If he (Pawar) can clarify these issues, then all links will be connected and people will come to know the exact timeline of events. He himself should reveal more details." (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayIndian-American Vivek Ramaswamy Announces 2024 US Presidential Bid
Samata Party sought help in getting back its 'mashaal' poll symbol from Uddhav ThackerayThane, Maharashtra: A delegation of Samata Party from Bihar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and sought his help in getting back its 'mashaal' (flaming torch) election symbol that has been allotted to the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray.The delegation, led by the party president Uday Mandal, met Mr Shinde at the latter's office in Thane on Tuesday evening.This information was shared by Eknath Shinde's city-based office through a release.The meeting comes days after the Election Commission (EC) recognised the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena, and allotted the 'bow and arrow' symbol to it. It also ruled that the 'flaming torch' symbol it had allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena group last year, will remain with it till the conclusion of the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad Assembly bypolls in Pune district scheduled on February 26.The delegation told Shinde that Samata Party was an old political outfit from Bihar and "mashaal" (flaming torch) was its election symbol. However after the change in power in Maharashtra, the EC allotted it to the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray, the release said.The delegation also told Shinde that they would challenge the Election Commission's decision in the Supreme Court to get back their symbol, it added.The delegation sought Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's help in getting back the Samata Party's election symbol the way his faction got the 'bow and arrow' symbol.The Samata Party - formed in 1994 by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the late leader George Fernandes - had earlier both complained to the Election Commission against the allotment of the symbol of Thackeray's party in October last year and moved the Delhi High Court against it, but the high court had dismissed the case claiming it had no right over deciding party symbols.The Samata Party had been derecognised by the Election Commission in 2004.While allotting the flaming torch symbol to the Thackeray faction last year, the poll panel had said the symbol was not in the list of free symbols and was an "erstwhile reserved symbol" of the now derecognised Samata Party but it has decided to allot the same on a request to declare it a free symbol.Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and Thane MP Rajan Vichare has submitted a letter to city Police Commissioner Jai Jeet Singh, urging him to thwart any attempts by the Shinde group to usurp the Shiv Sena 'shakhas' (local party offices) in the city."Since the birth of Shiv Sena 56 years back, several Shakas have been set up in the city. The ownership of some of them are with the Sena (UBT) and some are private premises and in the custody of the party. The Shinde group grabbed some of the shakhas through force and some others are being grabbed using muscle power," he alleged.In order to avoid a law and order situation, the police machinery should not encourage the Shinde group and give it a warning. If any law and order situation arises, it will be the sole responsibility of the Shinde group and the police, Mr Vichare added in the letter.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn Tuesday, Maharashtra cabinet minister Deepak Kesarkar, who is the spokesperson of the Shinde faction, said his group was not interested in taking over the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai or any other property linked to the rival camp headed by Uddhav Thackeray. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRam Charan Spotted At Airport, Barefoot. Here's Why
Union minister Anurag Thakur has said the Election Commission's decision to recognise the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena has made things "crystal clear" and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray should now understand who actually has the support of party workers. He also taunted Thackeray saying what was the use of repenting over what has been lost. The rival factions led by Maharashtra CM Shinde and his predecessor Thackeray are locked in legal battles over the control of the Shiv Sena. When asked about it, Thakur told reporters in Indore late on Tuesday night that the Election Commission (EC) has given a very detailed decision in this matter. "Iske baad doodh ka doodh aur pani ka pani ho chuka hai (everything is crystal clear now)," the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said. "Thackeray should now understand who has the number (support) of Shiv Sainiks, party's MLAs, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. This number alone tells the entire story," he said. Taking a jibe at Thackeray, Thakur quoted a Hindi proverb, "Ab pachhtaye hot kya, jab chidiya chug gayi khet" (what is the use of repenting over what has been lost). The EC last week recognised the Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena, and allotted it the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol of the party. In the first national executive meeting after the EC decision on Tuesday evening, it was decided that Shinde will remain the 'chief leader' of the Shiv Sena.