Editorial: Navigating legitimacy and democracy

Editorial: Navigating legitimacy and democracy

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, January 11, 2024, 10:46 PM IST
article-image
Representative Pic | Shutterstock

The verdict delivered by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar was on expected lines. He declared Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena as the authentic representation. The ruling group demonstrated its majority on the floor of the House, and the Election Commission's decision on the party's bow and arrow symbol favoured Shinde's faction. The Speaker chose to defer a decision on claims and counter-claims regarding the demand for the expulsion of defected MLAs. Interestingly, no defection seems to have occurred, although the MLAs elected on the same symbol are now in two parties. This highlights the complete failure of the anti-defection law, originally instituted during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as prime minister and later amended by the AB Vajpayee government.

The rival faction, led by Uddhav Thackeray, has announced its plans to challenge the Speaker's verdict in the Supreme Court. Doubts linger on whether the court would be inclined to review the Speaker's decision, considering it as interference in the legislative domain. Nevertheless, it has been 18 months since the split occurred in the Shiv Sena, with power transitioning from Thackeray to Shinde. While the fall of the government raised ethical concerns, subsequent events allowed Shinde to remain in power. The chief minister's support in the House is unquestioned, though the legitimacy of the majority is still unclear. After all, what is practical need not necessarily be ethical.

In a democratic setting, the ultimate arbiters are the voters. In a few months, parliamentary elections will take place, followed by Assembly elections in Maharashtra. These electoral events will provide people with an opportunity to pass their verdict on who truly represents the late Balasaheb Thackeray, the central figure in the ongoing leadership tussle. As the democratic process unfolds, it is crucial for the public discourse to delve into the legitimacy of the current government's formation and the contrasting claims of the two Shiv Sena factions.

Both Shiv Sena factions can find solace in the support they get from their allies. Both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar) have criticised the Speaker's verdict. This encourages the party with the prospect of contesting elections under the I.N.D.I.A platform, a crucial factor for its electoral standing. However, Shinde may encounter challenges in persuading his partners, particularly the BJP, that he authentically represents Shiv Sena when negotiating seat allocations.

RECENT STORIES

Analysis: When AI Says HI, Brilliance Meets Resilience

Analysis: When AI Says HI, Brilliance Meets Resilience

Royal Legacy Meets Stardom: The Mandi Lok Sabha Seat Showdown in Himachal Pradesh

Royal Legacy Meets Stardom: The Mandi Lok Sabha Seat Showdown in Himachal Pradesh

Fali Nariman: A Genius And A Doyen Of The Bar

Fali Nariman: A Genius And A Doyen Of The Bar

Analysis: Will The Hindi Heartland Stand Solidly Behind The BJP?

Analysis: Will The Hindi Heartland Stand Solidly Behind The BJP?

Analysis: War Drums Add to Economy Anxiety

Analysis: War Drums Add to Economy Anxiety