The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court yet again challenging Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s decision to recognise the removal of Uddhav Sena MPs from key positions in the Lower House. The latest petition adds to the several others against the Thackeray and the Shinde camps already pending before the top court. In the petition filed by aggrieved Sena MPs Vinayak Raut and Rajan Vichare, the Thackeray faction has called for the reinstatement of the MPs to their earlier posts, while seeking the cancellation of the new appointees to key posts in the Lok Sabha by the Shinde camp.
The Uddhav Sena has challenged Birla’s decision to acknowledge Shinde Sena’s appointment of Rahul Shewale as the floor leader and sought the cancellation of Bhavana Gawali’s appointment as the Chief Whip. In their petition, the Thackeray camp has accused Birla of violating the basic principles of natural justice by not hearing the petitioners or the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party despite several requests. They have claimed that in doing so, Birla has given legitimacy to anti-party activities.
Both petitioners — Raut, the group leader in Lok Sabha, and Vichare, the party’s Chief Whip — have claimed they were wronged by the Speaker’s decision.
A month after Shinde and 39 Shiv Sena MLAs successfully led the rebellion against the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra, 12 out of 19 party MPs pledged their support to Shinde just ahead of the Monsoon Session. Soon after, the 12 parliamentarians had met Speaker Om Birla and asked him to recognise them as the majority group in the House.
Clarifying that all the decisions were taken in accordance with the law, Shinde told journalists, “In democracy, numbers are important. Whatever we have done is under the ambit of the Constitution, laws, rules and regulations.”
The war between both the camps is being fought on different battlefields and has reached the Election Commission as well. The EC, after taking note of Shinde’s claim over the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, has asked both the camps to prove their support by providing signatures of the MLAs backing and necessary documents to substantiate their support to either side. However, the Thackeray faction has challenged the EC move before the apex court and sought a stay till the top court passes an order on the pending cases.