New Speaker holds the key in validating rebel Shinde camp
Even as the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray has taken the battle to the Supreme Court and the state Assembly seeking the disqualification and the suspension of 16 rebels MLAs, the key to finding a solution to the vexed problem rests with Speaker Rahul Narwekar, who was elected to the post on Sunday.
The Thackeray faction has moved the Supreme Court seeking suspension of the 16 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification proceedings have been initiated by the deputy speaker in the state Assembly. Sena whip Sunil Prabhu had filed moved SC seeking that the rebel MLAs be suspended from the membership of the Assembly as an interim measure till the disqualification petitions are decided. The SC will her the matter next on on July 11.
Senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar, while maintaining that the Speaker is supreme when it comes to deciding legislative matters, said, “If the 39 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs have joined the Shinde faction, the picture is clear. Why have any ambiguity about who has the majority?”
The ruling BJP-Shinde alliance believes once the verdict is given on the floor of the House, it is unlikely to be contested in courts.
According to an official in the Legislative Secretariat, “Since we have an elected the Speaker, concerns of both the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and the Shinde faction will be decided by him. After following due process and hearing both the sides, he will issue an order that will be binding on all.”
A sources in the BJP said that the party is not worried as any legal or legislative process in such cases will take at least three months to conclude. “Moreover, with an elected Speaker, the next step would be to validate Shinde camp as a group…”
A political strategist added that rulings of the Speaker on the floor of the House are generally upheld even by the courts.
The BJP-Shinde alliance’s confidence also stems from the lack of coordination within the Maha Vikas Aghadi on the floor of the House. A senior Congress leader said, “Since Uddhav Thackeray himself has withdrawn from the battle by giving up his membership in the the state Legislative Council, Congress and NCP see no reason to go after the new government with aggression on the issue of members’ disqualification.”
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