Mumbai | Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday demanded that Maharashtra's Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar take a decision on the disqualification of 16 MLAs at the earliest.
He made the demand a day after the Supreme Court gave its verdict on last year's political crisis that resulted in the collapse of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by him following a rebellion by Eknath Shinde, who later joined hands with the BJP to become the chief minister. Thackeray's party colleague Anil Parab said they will write to Speaker Nawerkar urging him to take a call on the matter at the earliest. “The gift of life to the 16 MLAs is temporary because the Supreme Court has given a reasonable time' and it has limitations. The Speaker must take his decision at the earliest,” Thackeray said.
Citing the Supreme Court's judgment that he could have been reinstated as chief minister had he not resigned, Thackeray said this implies that actions of the governor, like calling upon him for a floor test, were illegal.
“This means the existing government is illegal. I am satisfied with my decision because I resigned out of morality,” Thackeray said. He also dared the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janta Party to face elections in the “final court”, which he said is of the people of the state.
Parab said, “We have been saying that this government is illegal. The important role is of the whip. The whip of that time was of Sunil Prabhu (MLA from the Thackeray camp) and it was violated which has been well established. The Speaker should not take much time to decide on it.” “There is no escape for the rebel MLAs and there is little time left for them,” Parab added. The Supreme Court on Thursday held that it cannot restore the MVA government led by Thackeray as he resigned without facing a floor test in June last year. It has asked the Speaker to decide on the disqualification of 16 MLAs within a "reasonable period".
The court also said the decision of the Speaker to appoint Bharat Gogawale of the Shinde faction as the whip of the Shiv Sena in the Assembly was contrary to law.
On the role of the then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the top court said, "The governor was not justified in calling upon Mr Thackeray to prove his majority on the floor of the House because he did not have reasons based on objective material before him to reach the conclusion that Mr Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House."