In a relief to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, the Supreme Court on Monday kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel legislators questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.
The top court, however, refused to pass any interim order on the plea of the Maharashtra government that there should not be any floor test in the Assembly and said they cannot always approach it in case of illegality.
A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala directed the Maharashtra government to protect the life, liberty, and property of 39 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs and their family members.
Rebel leader Eknath Shinde termed the relief by the top court to him and other dissidents as the victory of Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva and the ideals of his mentors Anand Dighe.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stripped nine rebel ministers, who are camping in Guwahati, of their portfolios. An official statement said the portfolios of these ministers have been handed over to other ministers in the Thackeray-led government for ease of administration.
After the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde, the Shiv Sena now has four cabinet ministers, including CM Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, Anil Parab, and Subhash Desai. Barring Aaditya Thackeray, the rest three are MLCs.
Shinde’s portfolios – urban development and public undertaking – were given to senior Sena leader and state Industries Minister Subhash Desai.
The key portfolio of higher education, which was with Uday Samant, was given to Aaditya Thackeray.
The charge of water supply and sanitation department, which was with Gulabrao Patil, was handed over to Anil Parab.
The departments handled by Sanidpan Bhumre (employment guarantee and horticulture) and Dada Bhuse (agriculture and welfare of ex-servicemen) were given to Shankarrao Gadakh.
The portfolios of Minister of State Shamburaj Desai were allocated to Sanjay Bansode (Home-rural) and Vishwajit Kadam (finance, planning and skill development).
MoS Rajendra Patil-Yadravkar’s portfolios were given to Vishwajit Kadam (public health and family welfare), Prajakt Tanpure (medical education and textile), Satej Patil (food and drugs administration) and Aditi Tatkare (cultural activities).
The portfolios of another MoS Omprakash Kadu (Bacchu Kadu), the Prahar Janshakti Party leader, were allocated to Tatkare (school education), Satej Patil (water resources), Sanjay Bansode (women and child development), and Dattatray Bharne (other backward class development).
Besides, different departments handled by MoS Abdul Sattar were given to Tanpure (revenue), Satej Patil (rural development) and Tatkare (ports).
In the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by the Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had 10 Cabinet-rank ministers before the rebellion and four Ministers of State (MoS), including two from the Sena quota. All the four MoS have joined the rebel camp in Assam’s Guwahati city.