Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by a rebellion by a large section of Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently camping in Assam, sources have now learned that they are likely to stay for more days at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati and are unlikely to return before July 5.
“Rebel Maharashtra MLAs likely to stay for more days at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. The hotel was booked till July 5 and the booking can now be extended as per requirement,” sources said on Tuesday.
The political tussle in Maharashtra between Shiv Sena and the rebel group led by Eknath Shinde has now reached the Supreme Court. The pleas filed by the breakaway camp challenge the disqualification proceedings against Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs.
On Monday, a separate plea was filed by Shinde in the top court regarding the safety of the legislators who have challenged party chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala heard the pleas on Monday.
“This is the win of the Hindutva of Balasaheb Thackeray and the ideas of Anand Dighe,” Eknath Shinde tweeted after the Supreme Court deferred the disqualification proceedings of rebel MLAs till July 11.
Notably, the national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena on June 25 passed six resolutions giving absolute rights to Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within party under control. The meeting was called in the wake of Sena MLA Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, which has not only destabilised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government in the State but also poses a risk of the Thackerays losing control of the party.
Earlier, two MLAs, on June 26, called for the removal of the Maharashtra Deputy Speaker, who could be the key decision-maker about the disqualification of the rebel MLAs. Mahesh Baldi and Vinod Agarwal, both independent MLAs and said to be close to the BJP, have moved for the removal of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who is from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Independent MLA Mahesh Baldi from Uran assembly constituency reached Vidhan Bhavan today and submitted a letter to the office Deputy speaker saying that he cannot disqualify the 12 MLAs.In his letter, he has cited several judgements of the Supreme Court.
“The entire Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government doesn’t have the majority and they can’t disqualify any MLA. I am against Congress and NCP and if the MLAs are disqualified, we will also go to the Court,” he said.
Notably, the Maharashtra assembly doesn’t have a Speaker since February 2021.
Also, the Deputy Speaker also approved the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary as leader of the ruling party Shiv Sena in the assembly in place of Eknath Shinde.
Eknath Shinde has called the appointment illegal as Chaudhary’s name was proposed by the “minority faction” as he represents the “real Sena”.
Shinde, who has been replaced by Ajay Chaudhary as Shiv Sena’s legislature party leader on Friday, is currently camping with over 40 rebel MLAs in Guwahati.
In a jolt to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, senior Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs revolted against the party on June 20 and camped in Surat. The rebel MLAs have shifted base to a hotel in Guwahati.
On Friday, in his virtual address to the party’s district unit chiefs and ‘sampark pramukhs’, CM Uddhav Thackeray said “despite the rebellions that the party has faced earlier, it came to power twice. I may have left ‘Varsha’, the Chief Minister’s official residence, but not my determination”.