Uddhav can still be reinstated, if Maharashtra Speaker decides

With the Supreme Court on Thursday ruling that it cannot restore Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra chief minister, the ball was now in the court of the speaker of the Maharashtra assembly.

The Supreme Court did not specify any timeframe for the speaker to take a decision on the disqualification of 16 MLAs belonging to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction.

The issue was purely a political battle, and it should not have been taken to the court in the first place.

The decision on disqualification lies with the speaker, but the Supreme Court has not specified any time period within which the decision must be taken

The Shinde-led government, which includes defectors, will continue, unless no confidence motion takes place..

This (political developments of June-July 2022) is a blot on Maharashtra. The state’s political future is bleak and polluted — political morality took a beating. Maharashtra has had a history of clean and non-polluted politics. The Supreme Court’s verdict will have pan-India repercussions.

The MLAs of the Shinde’s faction of the Shiv Sena, walk out of the original party, go to Goa and Guwahati and then merge with (join hands with) another political party. This is clearly an act of defection.

Senior counsel Milind Sathe too echoed the view that all eyes will now be on speaker Rahul Narwekar.

The Supreme Court has already held that the whip of the original Shiv Sena party was valid and legal. So, now the speaker must decide on the disqualification issue on merits.

In fact, Thackeray should not have resigned following Shinde’s rebellion.

The Supreme Court has made certain important observations regarding a whip and how the then Maharashtra governor’s decision was incorrect. The ball now lies in the court of the speaker regarding the disqualification notices issued to the 16 MLAs. He will have to hear the matter and decide on merit.

The apex court on Thursday held that Shinde will continue as chief minister as it cannot restore the then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray as he resigned without facing a floor test.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had acted for the Home Minister and the Prime Minister but not in the interest of democracy. He did not have reasons based on objective material before him to arrive at the conclusion that Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House.

The then speaker’s decision to appoint Bharat Gogawale of the Shinde faction as the whip of the Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra assembly was “contrary to law”.