Will have to first recognise which Senafaction is the political party: Mah Speaker
MAHARASHTRA Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar on Monday said that after the Supreme Court’s May 11 verdict, he will have to first recognise in the House which faction of the Shiv Sena is the political party before going ahead with any other decision. He was speaking to reporters here after returning from London. Narwekar said, “I will have to first recognise who represents the political party in the Assembly.Then the decision on the appointment of the chief whip will be taken.The petitions demanding the disqualification of MLAs are pending with the Speaker.Their main contention is about not following the whip’s order,” he said. In its verdict on the Shiv Sena-centric tussle that led to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra last year, the Supreme Court on May 11 said it can’t reinstate the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as he chose to resign without facing the floor test. Refusing to disqualify the 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the top court said it cannotordinarilyadjudicate disqualification petitions under theanti-defection law and directed Speaker Narwekar to take a decision on the pending matter within a “reasonable period”.
“Here we have to take a decision with retrospective effect.Forthat,Ineedtoconducthearingswithbothsides and their representations,” said Narwekar. While these two Sena groups, one led by Shinde and the other by Thackeray, have contested elections as different entities, they are not separately recognised in the Assembly. When asked about Supreme Court terming Bharat Gogawale’s appointment as Sena’s chief whip by Shinde illegal, Narvekar said, “It is notpermanently illegal. Afterfollowingdueprocedure, Gogawale can still become the chief whip of the party.” During last year’s Maharashtra political crisis, ThackereycontrolledtheShiv Senapartyorganisation,while the Shinde faction claimed thesupport of themajorityof elected legislators.