Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde has rebelled against his party chief and has made it a mission to dismantle the government. He also claims to have the support of 46 other MLAs in this rebellion. The Sena at this point in time has 55 MLAs, out of which 46 are alleged to be with Eknath Shinde in Guwahati.
If Shinde wants to dodge the anti-defection law he will need at least 2/3rd of the 55 MLAs of Shiv Sena and at this point, he seems to sitting comfortably well above that mark with 46 MLAs. What this means is technically Shinde can stake a claim for the party symbol before the Election Commission.
Election Commission, the adjudicating body for disputes in a political party, recognises a faction as the party based on the majority support of legislator and office bearers. The faction that enjoys majority support is given the party symbol.
But if that happens this will not be the first time that a rebellion has happened within the party and the rebel leaders have staked claim to the party. Here are a few more instances when this has happened.
Chandrababu Naidu overthrowing NTR
Political drama staged by Chandrababu Naidu against his father-in-law and then chief minister N T Rama Ramo. The drama that began on August 23, 1995, lasted a week. Naidu along with his group revolted against his father-in-law for handing over the reins of the party to his second wife N Lakshmi Parvati. Eventually, NTR was dethroned on August 31, 1995. Naidu was sworn in as the CM of Andhra Pradesh.
O Pannerselvam sidelining Sasikala
After former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa passed away, her party was thrown into disarray with competing factions arguing over who should be its new leader. Her close aide O Pannerselvam was made the CM. However, In February of 2017 OPS was made to quit as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by then AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran.
The Election Commission then had frozen the poll symbol of AIADMK. This was the changing point. This provoked the formation of a committee to talk about the merger of the two warring factions. While all this was happening Sasikala was in jail convicted in the corruption case. Eventually, both the factions agreed on the negotiations and sealed the deal and Palaniswami was made the CM completely sidelining Sasikala.
Pashupati Kumar Paras uncle of Chirag Paswan
Chirag Paswan’s uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras led a rebellion against him sacking him as the head of the parliamentary party. Chirag had taken over the party just 8 months ago.
It is said that the rebellion was born within the family before the 2020 Bihar elections. Before Ram Vilas Paswan could pass away, he had made it clear that Chirag would be his political heir.
However, Chirag is said to have become unilateral in his functioning, sidelining most of the other leaders. Even, during the campaign, Chirag had kept Paras at bay. This created a bigger rift and this led Pashupati Paras to take some extreme steps.
He and four other MPs - broke away and asked to be treated as a separate group.
The rebel group also expelled Paswan as party chief. Later, Chirag retaliated by expelling his uncle and the rebelling MPs. But this move of Chirag went in vain as the Lok Sabha speaker accepted Paras as the floor leader ending Chirag's tenure as the floor leader.