Maharashtra political turmoil updates | June 26, 2022

Supporters of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde shout slogans outside his residence in Thane, on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Supporters of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde shout slogans outside his residence in Thane, on Saturday, June 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The political turmoil in Maharashtra intensified on Sunday, with rebel Shiv Sena MLA and Minister Eknath Shinde moving the Supreme Court against the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker to him and 15 other legislators.

The party, led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, meanwhile, received another jolt as Maharashtra Technical and Higher Education Minister Uday Samant, a key Sena leader in the Konkan region, joined Mr. Shinde’s rebel camp in Guwahati.

Mr. Shinde now has the support of nine Sena Ministers with Aaditya Thackeray being the only one in the Uddhav Thackeray camp left in the Assembly. The other two Thackeray loyalists Anil Parab and Subhash Desai are Legislative Council members.

The rebel faction challenged the appointment of Sena MLA from Mumbai Ajay Choudhari as the Legislature Party leader, and the rejection of their no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal.

On the other side, the loyalists of Mr. Thackeray, too, have geared up to take on the rebels with Arvind Sawant, MP, stating that the party had already initiated legal action to disqualify the 16 rebel MLAs by serving notices on them.

Advocate Devadatt Kamat, counsel for the ruling coalition of the Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, said that proceedings had been initiated by the Shiv Sena against 16 MLAs under para 2(1) (A) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

He said there were several examples where even if a member committed anti-party activities outside the House, then he or she was liable to be disqualified.

“There were several meetings called by the Shiv Sena, but none were responded to by the rebel MLAs. Their action of going to another State, writing letters against the MVA government makes them liable for prosecution for anti-party activities, and thus liable for disqualification,” Mr. Kamat said.

He said the claims by the rebel MLAs of retaining their posts on the grounds that they had two-thirds of the total of 55 Sena MLAs with them would only apply had they merged their group with another party. “Since they have already committed an anti-party act and still there is no merger, they face disqualification,” he said.

The Centre granted security to 15 of the rebel MLAs with the Home Ministry providing Y-plus security cover by stationing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans outside the homes of the rebel MLAs. The move comes as strident protests against the MLAs in the Shinde faction continued across the State.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, too, wrote to the Mumbai Commissioner of Police and the Maharashtra Director-General of Police asking them to provide additional security to the rebels.

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Here are the latest updates

New Delhi

Eknath Shinde moves SC against disqualification notice

Mr. Shinde has moved the Supreme Court against the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker against 16 rebel legislators. A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala is likely to hear Mr. Shinde’s plea on Monday.

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6.17 pm

“NCP will keep supporting CM Uddhav Thackeray till the end”

NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi says, “NCP’s line is clear. We will keep supporting CM Uddhav Thackeray till the end. Unlikely that President’s rule will be imposed in Maharashtra.”

On rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, he says, “It is strange that if you indeed have the numbers, then why are you sitting in Guwahati and not forming the govt. They (the rebels) never had any problem with the NCP in the last 2.5 years when the MVA was running. This is merely an excuse to justify the revolt. The issue of prosecuting rebel MLAs is on Uddhav Thackeray. Today or tomorrow, we will be requesting the Dy. Speaker to take stern action against them. The rebellion will not have much effect on the Shiv Sena’s organization.” - Shoumojit Banerjee

5.46 pm | Maharashtra

Sena leaders step up attack on rebels; Sharad Pawar in huddle with MVA leaders

The power tussle between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena dissident Eknath Shinde became intense on Sunday with Sena leaders, led by Sanjay Raut, launching an acerbic attack on the rebels while NCP chief Sharad Pawar held closed-door meetings with MVA leaders.

On the second day in a row, Shiv Sena cadres staged protests against the dissidents in various parts of the State, including Mumbai and Pune.

State minister Aaditya Thackeray, son of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, and Sena chief spokesman Sanjay Raut addressed party cadres in suburban Dahisar to drum up support for the beleaguered party leadership and slammed the Shinde camp.

Sharad Pawar met leaders of NCP, Congress ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan, and Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab and Anil Desai to discuss the political fallout of the six-day-old rebellion.

5.32 pm | Maharashtra

No info on arrival of rebel MLAs in Mumbai, airports alerted, preparations underway, say cops

Mumbai police has no information on when the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs will arrive in the metropolis from Guwahati in Assam, but preparations, including alerting airports, are underway, an official said on Sunday.

“We have alerted airports and have deployed personnel (bandobast). We have no idea, however, on when these MLAs will arrive here. The MLAs have asked the hotel management there (Guwahati) to extend their stay till June 28,” the official said.

5.24 pm | Maharashtra

No info on arrival of rebel MLAs in Mumbai, airports alerted, preparations underway, say cops

Mumbai police has no information on when the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs will arrive in the metropolis from Guwahati in Assam, but preparations, including alerting airports, are underway, an official said on Sunday.

A sizable number of MLAs, led by the party’s Thane strongman Eknath Shinde, had rebelled against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on June 21 and had moved first to Surat in neighbouring Gujarat and then to Assam, both BJP-ruled states.

“We have alerted airports and have deployed personnel (bandobast). We have no idea, however, on when these MLAs will arrive here. The MLAs have asked the hotel management there (Guwahati) to extend their stay till June 28,” the official said. - PTI

4.56 pm | Maharashtra

Rebel MLAs have monstrous ambitions, party doors shut for them: Aaditya Thackeray

Slamming the dissident Shiv Sena MLAs for having “monstrous ambitions”, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray says even if all the party legislators turn rebels, victory will always be of the party.

Addressing the Sena workers in Mumbai for the second consecutive day, he also says that doors of the State and party are closed for the rebels MLAs.

“Contest elections again, we will ensure you are defeated,” the 30-year-old son of Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says.

Without naming the BJP, he says he feels ashamed that a party, which is in power at the Centre and Assam, has taken the MLAs from another ruling party from a different State and kept them in the north eastern State that is reeling under floods.

4.55 pm | Assam

Chartered flight with ‘rebel Shiv Sena MLA’ on way to Guwahati

A chartered aircraft from Surat in Gujarat carrying three passengers, including at least one dissident MLA from Maharashtra, is set to reach Guwahati on Sunday evening, an official source said.

The aircraft, hired from IndoPacific Aviation Pvt. Ltd., is scheduled to land at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati at 6.00 p.m., the source told PTI.

“The flight will come from Surat. There will be three passengers on board -- two men and one woman,” he said.

The exact identities of the passengers are not known immediately, but “at least one MLA will be there in the plane”, the source said. - PTI

4.34 pm | Maharashtra

Shiv Sena initiates legal action to disqualify 16 rebel MLAs

Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant says the party has initiated legal action to disqualify 16 rebel MLAs. “We have already served notices to them,” says Mr. Sawant.

Advocate Devadatt Kamat, legal counsel for MVA government says, "Proceedings have been initiated by the Shiv Sena against 16 MLAs under para 2(1) (A) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. If a person voluntarily gives up membership of the party, he is liable for disqualification. There are several examples that even if a member commits anti-party activities outside the House, then he is liable to be disqualified. There were several meetings called by the Shiv Sena, none were responded to by the rebel MLAs. Their action of going to another state, writing letters against govt. makes them liable for prosecution for anti-party-activities, and thus liable for disqualification."

“The rebel MLAs claims of retaining their posts because they have a 2/3rd majority will only only apply if there is a merger (of the group) with another party. Since they have already committed an anti-party act and still there is no merger, disqualification applies,” Advocate Kamat adds.

4.06 pm | Maharashtra

MVA govt will last two to three days, says Union Minister Raosaheb Danve

Union Minister Raosaheb Danve says the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, racked by rebellion in main constituent Shiv Sena, will last “two to three days”.

Speaking at the inaugural function of an agriculture department building in Jalna district in the presence of State NCP Minister Rajesh Tope, the BJP leader says the MVA should complete remaining development works at the earliest as “we (BJP) will be in Opposition only for two to three days”.

“Time is running out. This government will last for two to three days. The BJP has nothing to do with this rebellion. Shiv Sena rebels have resentment towards Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as development funds were diverted by NCP and Congress,” the Union Minister of State for Railway, Coal and Mines says

Queried on the possibility of the Eknath Shinde-led group merging with the BJP, Mr. Danve, himself a former state unit chief, says there was no such proposal and if one comes then the senior leadership would take a call. - PTI

3.18 pm | Maharashtra

Provide security to rebel MLAs: Governor to Maharashtra DGP, Mumbai police chief

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari writes to Mumbai commissioner of police and State DGP asking them to provide security to the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs with Eknath Shinde

3.04 pm | Maharashtra

Another Sena Minister ‘unreachable’, likely joins rebel camp

​Maharashtra Technical and Higher Education Minister Uday Samant, who is said to be ‘not reachable’, sparks speculation of joining dissident leader Eknath Shinde’s rebel Shiv Sena camp in Guwahati. Mr. Samant is a key Sena leader from the Konkan region. - Shoumojit Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau

2:05 pm | Maharashtra

Aaditya Thackeray takes the offensive against rebel Sena MLAs and Centre

“This is the first revolt where MLAs from ruling party want to sit in the Opposition. The BJP-ruled Centre, which ought to have given CRPF security to Kashmiri pandits, are today giving security to these rebel MLAs. Their food bills are amounting ₹ 8-9 lakhs daily in a State which is afflicted by floods. I feel bad that while flood-hit people of Assam are suffering, you [rebel MLAs] are enjoying there,” he said.

Mr. Thackeray warned that all rebel MLAs will be disqualified, says “will not rest until he has defeated every single one of them.”

“The entire country is watching this shameful drama... What answer are we going to give to the world? Where is democracy going to? Situation is akin to Nazi Germany,” says Aaditya Thackeray. - Mumbai Bureau

2:00 pm | Assam

Assam BJP minister meets rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at Guwahati hotel

Assam Minister Ashok Singhal visited the luxury hotel in Guwahati, where dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is camping with other MLAs from Maharashtra, and held a discussion with them, sources said on Sunday.

A source close to the development told PTI that the Housing and Urban Affairs of Assam went to the hotel late Saturday night and held discussions with Mr. Shinde and the other rebel MLAs. It is, however, not immediately known what Mr. Singhal discussed with the rebel Shiv Sena legislators and Independent MLAs from the western State.

When contacted, Mr. Singhal confirmed that he had gone to the hotel, but declined to share details. - PTI

2:00 pm | Maharashtra

Shiv Sena workers protest against party rebels; say ‘traitors’ won’t be forgiven

The loyalists of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took out a two-wheeler rally in Mumbai and held protests in parts of Pune against the dissident leaders on Sunday. Sena workers and its local functionaries, led by the Pune city unit president Gajanan Tharkude, staged ‘jode maro’ (hit with footwear) protests at two places — outside Balgandharva auditorium and in Kothrud — and raised slogans against the rebels.

The party workers were seen hitting Mr. Shinde’s photo with footwear. “These protests are meant to put out a message that Shiv Sainiks will not forgive the traitors,” Mr. Tharkude said. - PTI

1:05 pm | Mumbai

Road to Vidhan Bhavan from airport goes via Worli: Aaditya warns Sena rebels in Guwahati

In a subtle warning to the Shiv Sena rebels currently camping in Guwahati, party leader and cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray has said the road from Mumbai airport to Vidhan Bhavan, the state legislature complex, goes via Worli.

Worli, traditionally a Shiv Sena bastion in Mumbai, is the Assembly constituency represented by Aaditya Thackeray. Addressing the party workers on Saturday evening, the 30-year-old son of Shiv Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, also said there was no place for “traitors” in the party. - PTI

1:00 pm | Maharashtra

Centre provides ‘Y+’ category security to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs

The central government has provided ‘Y+’ category armed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) security cover to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. - PTI

11:30 am | Maharashtra

No knowledge of any secret meeting between Shinde and Amit Shah: Chandrakant Patil

“No knowledge of any secret meeting between rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis in Gujarat’s Vadodara,” says BJP Maharashtra president Chandrakant Patil.

“Nothing in Maharashtra’s political situation has transpired until now for the BJP to clarify its stance. While we are obviously monitoring the situation closely as befits a political party, we are going about our work in a routine manner instead of worrying whether the govt. is stable or unstable,” said Mr. Patil. - Mumbai Bureau

10:54 am | Mumbai

MVA leaders meet to discuss strategy to break rebel camp

MVA leaders meet at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s ‘Silver Oak’ residence to discuss strategy to break the Sena rebel camp. Congressmen Ashok Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat, Sena leaders Anil Parab and Anil Desai are present along with NCP’s Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel. - Mumbai Bureau

10:52 am | Maharashtra

Shiv Sena’s doors still open for those who want to return: Raut

“Have just spoken with some rebel Sena MLAs. Shiv Sena’s doors still open for those who want to return,” Sanjay Raut tells press in Mumbai. He accused BJP of sponsoring parties of rebel Sena MLAs at Guwahati’s Radisson Blu Hotel while floods ravage Assam. “If you had guts, then resign and show the courage to win elections. Confident that MVA govt. will survive,” says Mr. Raut. - Mumbai Bureau

10:30 am | MVA crisis

‘How long will you hide in Guwahati, you will have to come to chowpatty’: Raut taunts rebel MLAs

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on June 26 posted a tweet targetting the rebel MLAs of the party, in which he said that however long they may “hide” in Assam’s Guwahati, they will ultimately have to come to “chowpatty”, a reference to Mumbai.

Key government establishments, including the Mantralaya (state secretariat), Vidhan Bhavan (legislature complex), Raj Bhavan and the chief minister’s official bungalow ‘Varsha’ are located in the vicinity of the Girgaum beach, which is also known the Girgaum chowpatty, in south Mumbai.

8:88 am | Maharashtra

Shinde would have stood a better chance of being CM had he remained within Shiv Sena

“Had the BJP kept their promise of sharing the Maharashtra CM’s post with the Shiv Sena for 2.5 years, then Uddhav Thackeray himself would have put forth Eknath Shinde’s name as CM,” says Sena MP Sanjay Raut in his column in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana.’

“Mr. Shinde would have stood a better chance of being CM had he remained within the Sena. Those who revolted against the Sena like Chhagan Bhujbal and Narayan Rane, saw their later political careers run into rough weather. The revolt by Mr. Shinde and 40 MLAs was “no political earthquake” and the Sena headquarters endured several such earthquakes. A split in the Legislative party does not translate into a split in the Shiv Sena,” said Mr. Raut. - Mumbai Bureau

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8:40 am | Assam

Shinde calls meeting to discuss further strategy

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at a hotel in Guwahati, Friday, on June 24, 2022.

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at a hotel in Guwahati, Friday, on June 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde on June 26 called a meeting of MLAs at 12 p.m. in Guwahati hotel, to discuss further strategy. - ANI

June 25 | MVA crisis

My fight is for rescuing Sena from clutches of ‘python of MVA’, says Eknath Shinde

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on late Saturday evening said Shiv Sena workers should understand that he was fighting to save the party from the clutches of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

In a tweet in Marathi, Mr. Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati with his group of MLAs, said, “My dear Shiv Sena workers, try to understand the machinations of the MVA. I am fighting for rescuing the Shiv Sena and Sena workers from the clutches of the python of the MVA.” “I dedicate this fight to the interest of Shiv Sena workers,” he added. - PTI

June 25 | Guwahati

Not spending money on Maharashtra MLAs: Assam CM

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday refuted the claim that the State Government was paying for the food and accommodation of dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping at a five-star hotel in Guwahati since June 22.

At least 40 MLAs at the hotel are led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

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June 25 | TH Explains

Has the anti-defection law failed? 

Maharashtra is in the throes of a constitutional crisis. Many ruling Shiv Sena legislators who seem to have revolted against the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray are now holed up in a hotel in distant Guwahati to keep out of the reach of party leaders. Their travel to Guwahati, via Surat, seems to have been facilitated by the BJP, the ruling party in Gujarat and Assam. All indications are that there is a planned mass defection underway so that an alternative regime that includes the BJP is formed in the State.

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June 25 | Maharashtra

Who is footing MLAs’ hotel bills in Guwahati, asks NCP

Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by a rebellion by a large section of Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently camping in Assam, the NCP on Saturday sought to know who was paying the bills of hotels in Guwahati and Surat.

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June 25 | Guwahati

Ban orders in Mumbai as MLA offices attacked

The ongoing political crisis following a revolt by the ruling Shiv Sena’s second-in-command Eknath Shinde is now spilling on to the streets.

Fearing violent retaliation by Sena workers, all 38 party MLAs stationed in Guwahati wrote to Assam’s Chief Minister, Home Minister and Director General of Police on Saturday demanding police protection for their families and relatives.

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June 25 | Maharashtra

16 Shiv Sena rebels asked to reply to notice by June 27

The national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena on Saturday passed six resolutions giving absolute right to Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within the party under control.

The national executive barred any individual or group from using the name of the party’s founder, the late Bal Thackeray, after reports that the rebel MLAs would name their group as Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray).

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 11:30:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-political-turmoil-updates-june-26-2022/article65566651.ece