Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Thursday said that he would need to put in extra hours to conduct hearings on disqualification petitions while ensuring smooth functioning of the House.
Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, Narwekar said, “I need to ensure the smooth functioning of the legislative assembly as well as complete the disqualification hearings pending before me. It looks like I will be working from 9 am to 10 pm in this period to give justice to both responsibilities.”
Rahul Narwekar is hearing cross-petitions filed by the rival Shiv Sena factions seeking disqualification of each other's MLAs following a split in the party last year. Narwekar said he would hear the petitions on Thursday for two and a half hours at the Vidhan Bhavan in Nagpur.
Speaker Speaks On Work Being A Challenging Task
The speaker said it would be a challenging task for him to pay attention to both - hearings as well as smooth functioning of the House. The Shiv Sena (UBT) is seeking disqualification of Shinde-led 40 rebel MLAs who revolted against Thackeray, which not only led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June 2022, but also caused a split in the 57-year-old party.
The Shinde camp has alleged that the documents based on which the Thackeray-led group has been seeking disqualification of their rival MLAs are “fake”. In September, the Supreme Court had rebuked Narwekar for delaying the adjudication. The court had directed the Speaker to announce within a week the date for the ruling on the disqualification petitions filed by the Sena factions.
Last week, the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena wrote to Narwekar urging him to summon the concerned official of the Election Commission (EC) during the disqualification hearing.