Show cause notices have been issued to the Shiv Sena’s 53 of the 55 legislators in Maharashtra – 39 of the faction led by Eknath Shinde and 14 of the Uddhav Thackeray group. The notices have been issued by the legislature secretary for disqualification on grounds of defection under the Members of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly rules.
According to a PTI report, MLAs from both the sides have received the notices. The camps have accused each other of defying the party whip during the Assembly speaker’s election and the trust vote held on July 3 and 4, respectively, seeking disqualification of the legislators from both the sides. The legislators have been asked to explain their stand within a week.
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Maharashtra legislature secretary Rajendra Bhagwat, on being asked about the show-cause notices, said, “Whenever we get any application, we have to act on it, so notices have been issued to each MLA against whom there was an application.”
The Sena has 55 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly, whose current strength is 287 due to the death of a Sena legislator. In the trust vote, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it. After comfortably winning the trust vote in the Assembly on July 4, Shinde’s faction issued a notice to 14 legislators from the Uddhav Thackeray camp for violating a whip issued by the Sena whip and Shinde loyalist Bharat Gogawale. It, however, skipped the name of Aaditya Thackeray, son of former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, in the list.
One of the 14 MLAs from Thackeray side, Santosh Bangar, had joined the Shinde camp on the day of the floor test of the latter’s government on July 4.
A day before the floor test, Assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar had recognised Gogawale as the Shiv Sena’s chief whip, removing Sunil Prabhu from the Thackeray camp.
On July 3, Narvekar of the BJP was elected speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly. He had polled 164 votes, and he defeated Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi, who got 107 votes.
(With inputs from agencies)