What is anti-defection law? How many legislators Eknath Shinde needs to split Shiv Sena?

The crack appeared in Shiv Sena as at least 11 Sena legislators and their allies reportedly cross voted in the state council election that was held on Monday.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 12:50 PM IST
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Eknath Shinde and his allies to will address the media today at 12 PM. | PTI

Tension mounts on the ruling party in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena as the senior leader and urban development Minister Eknath Shinde has been not reachable since last night. Several other legislators, associated with Shinde, are also unreachable.

The crack appeared in the party as at least 11 Sena legislators and their allies reportedly cross voted in the state council election that was held on Monday. 11 legislators are believed to have voted for BJP's fifth nominee Prasad Lad, who secured 28 votes.

Shinde was reportedly unhappy after he was neglected in the party and the government and did not receive freedom in running his departments due to CM Uddhav Thackeray's and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray's dominance.

Shinde and his allies- Shambhuraj Desai, Abdul Sattar, Sandeepan Bhumre, Anil Babar, Shahaji Patil, Mahendra Thorve, Prakash Abitkar, Sanjay Rathod and Gulabrao Patil are the Ministers, who are reportedly together in Surat, will address the media today at 12 PM.

What is anti-defection law?

The anti-defection law punishes individual MPs or MLAs for leaving one political party for another. However, it allows a group of MPs or MLAs to merge with another political party without inviting the penalty for defection. It does not penalise parties for encouraging or accepting defecting legislators.

Parliament added the law to the Constitution as the Tenth Schedule in 1985 and it aimed at bringing stability to governments by discouraging legislators from changing their political parties.

This law came into forces after several state governments were toppled by party-changing MLAs after general elections that took place in 1967.

How many legislators will Eknath Shinde need to split Shiv Sena?

As per the anti-defection law, the Minister and his allies will need 37 legislators to split Shiv Sena. They will form the separate group, which will be headed by Shinde, who is expected to give letter to the Governor soon.

Thereafter, ball will be in the Governor's court as he will ask the Maharashtra CM to prove majority on the floor of house. If the CM is unsure of proving majority, he will resign to avoid defeat on the floor of house.

Later, the governor may call BJP to submit a letter with the support of legislators, a new CM will be sworn in. Governor will also ask him to prove the majority on the floor of house.

This is the fourth major split in Sena if it really happens. It was Chhagan Bhujbal who defected to Congress in 1990. Later in 2005, Narayan Rane left to join Congress. Thereafter, Raj Thackeray also left in 2005 to form his own party, MNS.

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