> Eknath Shinde govt to continue in Maharashtra, but Guv was wrong to think Uddhav had lost majority: SC - নিয়মীয়া খবৰ




Eknath Shinde govt to continue in Maharashtra, but Guv was wrong to think Uddhav had lost majority: SC

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s government will continue in Maharashtra after the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with its formation in 2022.

Shinde had split from Uddhav Thackeray’s parent Shiv Sena in June last year to stitch the ruling alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A Constitution Bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P.S. Narasimha said the status quo ante could not be restored as former CM Uddhav Thackeray resigned and did not face the ensuing floor test.

The top court said the Governor was then correct in calling Eknath Shinde to form the government.

The apex court, however, questioned then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari’s decision to call a floor test based on the request of Shinde’s rebels. The court said Koshiyari did not have “objective material before him to conclude that then CM Uddhav Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House”.

The court held the Governor erred in relying on the resolution on a faction (Shinde) of Shiv Sena MLAs to conclude that Thackeray had lost the support of a majority.

“Nothing in any of the communications relied on by the Governor indicated that the dissatisfied MLAs wanted to withdraw support,” the bench said.

The apex court also observed that neither the Constitution nor the law empowered the Governor to enter the political arena and play a role either in inter-party or intra-party disputes.

The Sena vs Sena case

Former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had sought the disqualification of 16 MLAs from the Shinde faction, including Shinde himself, who had initially rebelled against his leadership last year.

This revolt ignited a political crisis in Maharashtra and ultimately toppled the coalition that Thackeray fronted with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party after the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections.

Shinde was a minister in this Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray – and also one in the previous Sena-BJP combine.

After the initial 16 rebelled, the Shinde faction ultimately grew to 40 MLAs. This chunk was propped up by the BJP and Shinde became chief minister after winning a floor test.

Uddhav Thackeray went to Supreme Court with several complaints. He challenged the decision of the Maharashtra Governor to call a trust vote that brought Shinde and the BJP to power. He also challenged the swearing-in of Shinde as CM and the election of a new Speaker.

The Thackeray faction argued that the Governor could not call a trust vote based on the preferences of a rival camp in a party – it had to be done on the basis of alliances.

Lawyers said if a political crisis like in Maharashtra was permitted, it would have far-reaching consequences for the country as any government could then be toppled.

The Shinde faction argued that head-counting took place on the floor of the House and that the Governor had no option but to call a floor test because support to the ministry had been withdrawn. Shinde’s council also said that dissent was a hallmark of democracy and laid claim to the original Shiv Sena.

During the hearing earlier this year, the apex court noted that a Governor should not enter into any area which precipitates the fall of a government. It called the Maharashtra political crisis a serious issue for democracy.

This February, however, the election Commission granted the Sena name and the party’s original “bow and arrow” symbol to the Shinde faction.

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