Rebel Eknath Shinde reacted strongly to Shiv Sena’s move to file disqualification notices for 12 MLAs. In a series of tweets, the leaders who are projecting their faction as the real Shiv Sena questioned whom Shiv Sena was trying to intimidate. Mr. Shinde and his son are on the list of 12.
“Who are you trying to scare? We know your make-up and law too! As per the 10th schedule of the Constitution, the whip is for the work of the assembly, not for the meeting. Several Supreme Court judgments in this regard ,” read a rough translation of the first of his three tweets in Marathi.
In the second tweet, it is written, ‘You cannot scare us by applying for action against 12 MLAs. Because we are the real Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks of respected Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray.
Yesterday, the Shiv Sena had issued an ultimatum to the rebels, saying the inability to attend the 5 pm meeting by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at his official residence “Varsha” would invoke disqualification.
The power to disqualify any MLA rests with the Speaker and not the party. When the rebels did not attend the legislature party meeting – which was not physically possible as they were hiding in a hotel in Guwahati – the Shiv Sena filed a complaint with the deputy speaker and asked him to file a complaint against the anti-defection law, citing the opposition. To initiate disqualification proceedings under party activities.
Mr Shinde has apparently reached the critical number of 37 Shiv Sena MLAs who are required to split the party in the assembly without violating the anti-defection law.
The Shiv Sena’s application was a preventive measure, which is expected to give it more time, as the deputy speaker has to address the disqualification application to the chief minister before any application from the Shinde camp.
It will also give the Shiv Sena a numerical advantage in the Assembly, as disqualification of MLAs will reduce the majority figure, which is 144 in the 287-member House.
The new majority mark will be 138 and with 12 MLAs reduced, the strength of the ruling coalition will be 140 – down from 152.