Speaker Rahul Narwekar Refuses To Disqualify CM Shinde, 16 MLAs; Upholds His Faction As 'Real' Shiv Sena

Speaker Rahul Narwekar Refuses To Disqualify CM Shinde, 16 MLAs; Upholds His Faction As 'Real' Shiv Sena

Speaker Narwekar's decision responds to 34 petitions from both Shiv Sena factions. Sources suggest the Speaker might read only the operative part of the judgment today, meeting the Supreme Court's deadline.

Rahul MUpdated: Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 06:54 PM IST
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Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar has started pronouncement of his verdict regarding the disqualification of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his 36 MLAs.

Narwekar's decision responds to 34 petitions from both Shiv Sena factions. Sources suggest the Speaker might read only the operative part of the judgment today, meeting the Supreme Court's deadline.

6.46 PM

Speaker Rahul Narvekar holds 14 MLA status of Thackeray faction leaders as valid, refuses to disqualify them as well.

6.24 PM

Cannot disqualify Shinde & his MLAs: Speaker

Non-attendance of party meeting would not attract disqualification, says speaker Rahul Narewakr.

6.19 PM

Sunil Prabhu (UBT) ceased to exist as whip, had no authority: Speaker

Speaker said that MLAs from Shinde faction can not be disqualified because Sunil Prabhu of UBT faction ceased to be the whip when rival faction emerged.

6.11 PM

Shinde faction a real Shiv Sena: Narwekar

Speaker Rahul Narwekar holds that Shiv Sena led by CM Eknath Shinde is the real Shiv Sena. He also holds appointment of Bharat Gogawale (SHinde faction) as a whip.

6.08 PM

Leadership structure can not be taken as the yardstick to determine which faction is a real: Speaker

"The 2018 leadership structure was not in conformity with the constitution of the Shiv Sena (of 1999 which is relied upon). This leadership structure can not be taken as the yardstick to determine which faction is a real Shiv Sena political party," the speaker said.

5.55 PM

Uddhav Thackeray had no power to remove Eknath Shinde as leader of the party: Speaker

5.48 PM

No elections were held in Shiv Sena in 2013 & 2018: Shiv Sena

"In view of the evidence and records before me, prima facie indicates that no elections were held in the year 2013, as well as in the year 2018. However, I as the speaker exercising jurisdiction under the 10th schedule have limited jurisdiction and cannot go beyond the record of the ECI as available on the website and hence I have not considered this aspect while determining the relevant leadership structure. Thus, given the above conclusions, I find that the leadership structure of Shiv Sena reflected in the letter dated 27th February 2018 available on the website of the ECI is the relevant leadership structure which has to be taken into account for the purpose of determining which faction is the real political party," the speaker said.

5.45 PM

Relying on Shiv Sena's 1999 constitution given by ECI: Speaker

"As per Supreme Court orders, I cannot delve into any other factor on which the constitution is valid. As per records, I am relying on the 1999 constitution of Shiv Sena as the valid constitution," says spaker Rahul Narwekar.

4.40 pm

Speaker Rahul Narwekar has reached the central hall of Maharashtra legislative assembly. He would announce the verdict anytime now.

Watch the verdict here:

3.43 PM

The verdict will be out by 4.30 pm

The verdict on MLA disqualification will be out by 4.30 PM. It will be streamed LIVE on Maharashtra Assembly's YouTube handle.

Watch the verdict here

3:10 pm

Speaker To Read Result In Central Hall Of Vidhan Bhavan

The Speaker will read the result in the central hall of the Vidhan Bhavan and the proceedings will be telecasted on LIVE TV. A mail has been sent to the lawyers of both groups by the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha. They are asked to be present for the result.

1:11 pm

CM Eknath Shinde Confident About Verdict Being In His Favour

"I will speak once the decision is announced. But I have to say one thing we have been recognised as the official Shiv Sena by the Election Commission based on the majority which we have in Loksabha and Vidhan Sabha. The EC has also allotted the party poll symbol. So we expect that as per the merit, the speaker must give the decision in our favour," Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said. 

12:54 pm:

Former CM Says, '16 MLAs Should Be Suspended'

"These 16 MLAs should be suspended and dismissed from their positions. But if a different verdict comes, then it would be politically influenced," said Congress Maharashtra leader and former CM Prithviraj Chavan as the decision on disqualification petitions against rival ShivSena MLAs is expected today.

12:46 pm:

Shide Sena MLAs Ordered To Eeach Balasaheb Bhavan By 3 pm

In a latest development, all the MLAs of CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena have been asked to assemble at the Balasaheb Bhavan by 3 pm. Balasaheb Bhavan is the central office of the party, located in Mumbai.

"We are prepared to accept the decision that will be pronounced by the Speaker today," minister and CM Eknath Shinde-led Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar said on Wednesday.

11:52 am:

'Decision Would Ensure Justice To All Parties,' Says Speaker Rahul Narwekar

Maharashtra Assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar, who is set to announce his verdict on disqualification matters today said that the decision would be given as per the law. Narwekar also assured that whatever the decision is, it would give justice to all the parties. "This would be a benchmark judgement," Narwekar said.

11:25 am:

Raut Alleges Match-Fixing In Today's Verdict

On Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha speaker Rahul Narwekar giving verdict in Shiv Sena MLA disqualification case, Shiv Sena (UBT faction) leader Sanjay Raut said, "Match-fixing is going on in this case. The CM is gong to Davos. He will no longer remain in office if this decision goes against the CM. But he knows the decision is going to be in favour of him. The Vidhan Sabha speaker has shown him the decision. That is why he is going to Davos..."

11:10 am:

'This Government Is Illegal,' Says Sanjay Raut Ahead Of Disqualification Verdict

Shiv Sena (UBT faction) leader Sanjay Raut said, "... Today it will be decided that this government is illegal. PM Modi is coming to Maharashtra to rally for the upcoming elections... Is there any kind of match-fixing? How is he so confident that this government is going to stay... Whatever will be decided today will be a mere formality."

11:00 am:

CM Eknath Shinde Chairs Key Cabinet Meet

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has called for an emergency cabinet meeting ahead of the Speaker's decision over the disqualification pleas. However, speculations have rose in the political circles indicating that whether the CM is worried about his government's stand. However, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis yesterday stated that the government is 'stable.'

Thackeray's Accusation

Adding a twist to the drama, Uddhav Thackeray filed an affidavit accusing Speaker Narwekar of political partiality, intensifying the high-voltage political scenario.

The Shiv Sena (UBT)-led opposition remains skeptical about a favourable verdict. Allegations of Narwekar's partiality, given his previous BJP affiliation, raise concerns. Both Uddhav Thackeray and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut criticised Narwekar for perceived closeness to Shinde, questioning the Speaker's neutrality.

Questionable Neutrality

Political observers argue that Narwekar's role demands not only neutrality but the appearance of it. Recent meetings between Shinde and Narwekar, characterized as 'accused and judge' gatherings by Thackeray, have fueled doubts about Narwekar's impartiality.

Read full story here:

Potential Government Impact

Even if the verdict goes against Shinde & Co, immediate danger to the government seems unlikely. The BJP, with its 105 MLAs, maintains support from 38 NCP (Ajit Pawar) MLAs and some independents in the 288-member House.

Disqualification proceedings initiated on June 25, 2022, faced legal challenges when Shinde contested the 48-hour notice. The Supreme Court's verdict, allowing Shinde 12 days to respond instead of the standard seven, raised eyebrows in legal circles, further complicating the unfolding political drama.

Read full story here:

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