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HomePoliticsSupreme Court Speeds Up MLA Disqualification Hearing, Tensions Rise in Maharashtra Politics

Supreme Court Speeds Up MLA Disqualification Hearing, Tensions Rise in Maharashtra Politics

Shinde Group MLAs Mull Contesting on BJP Ticket if Disqualified

Mumbai | October 23, 2023 – In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India has issued a directive to Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rahul Narvekar, instructing him to promptly furnish a hearing schedule pertaining to the disqualification of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (MLA) members. This move is expected to expedite the ongoing MLA disqualification proceedings.

The repercussions of this decision have sent shockwaves through the ranks of MLAs and Khasdars belonging to the Eknath Shinde-led faction. There is growing apprehension within the Shinde group that their MLAs may face disqualification. In response, they have devised a contingency plan to contest future elections under the banner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if such disqualifications occur.

The unease among Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s group of MLAs and MPs has escalated following the Supreme Court’s rebuke of the Assembly Speaker and a concurrent petition lodged with the Supreme Court regarding the election symbol.

A significant concern for the Shinde group is the prospect of disqualifying 16 MLAs, which could subsequently lead to the disqualification of the remaining 24 MLAs. This situation could potentially result in Uddhav Thackeray’s group acquiring the bow and arrow symbol, previously bestowed upon the Shinde group by the Election Commission.

Moreover, the MLA-Khasdars within the Shinde group find themselves at a crossroads as they contemplate which symbol to adopt in the upcoming elections. When Chief Minister Eknath Shinde parted ways with the Shiv Sena, he lacked the support of 40 Sena MLAs. It has come to light that some specialist MLAs of the Shiv Sena defected to Shinde’s camp following assurances from senior leaders of the BJP.

Concurrently, the Thackeray group has lodged a petition with the Supreme Court, challenging the Election Commission’s decision. This petition is slated for an upcoming hearing. Consequently, should the Supreme Court choose to freeze the bow and arrow symbol ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, it could potentially signify a turning point for the Shinde group.

Additionally, MPs and MLAs from various constituencies, including Vidarbha, are expressing their willingness to contest elections under the BJP’s lotus symbol. Reliable sources indicate that they have proposed this idea to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Meanwhile, the BJP is advocating for the retention of the Shiv Sena name and the bow and arrow symbol within the Shinde group, citing potential electoral advantages.

Senior BJP leaders opine that allowing the Shinde group to retain the Shiv Sena name and the Dhanushyaban symbol would be in the group’s best interest. They also argue that maintaining the clock symbol within Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would be beneficial for the Grand Alliance in the upcoming elections. As the legal proceedings unfold, the political landscape in Maharashtra remains in a state of flux, with ramifications that could significantly influence the state’s political future.

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