Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

Maharashtra Crisis: CM Uddhav Thackeray Strips Rebel Ministers Of Portfolios, Shiv Sena Left With Four Ministers

Meanwhile, Eknath Shinde's rebel camp has approached the Supreme Court over the deputy speaker’s disqualification notice to 16 MLAs.

Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has handed over portfolios of nine rebel ministers to other ministers. These nine ministers are camping in Guwahati as part of senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde's rebel faction. 

The portfolios of the rebel ministers were being handed over to other ministers for ease of administration, according to an official statement.

After divesting the rebels of their portfolios, the Sena now has only four cabinet ministers, including CM Uddhav, Aaditya Thackeray, Anil Parab, and Subhash Desai. Barring Aaditya, the rest three are MLCs.

In the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by the Sena, the Sena had 10 Cabinet-rank ministers before the rebellion and four Ministers of State (MoS), including two from the Sena quota. All the four MoS have joined the rebel camp in Guwahati.

The Sena's action comes a day after such an intention was made public. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said Uddhav would sack rebel ministers in a day or two.

"This comes within the purview of the chief minister. He will take action in a day or two," Pawar said to questions on sacking of state ministers in Shinde's camp.

Meanwhile, the Shinde camp has approached the Supreme Court over the deputy speaker’s disqualification notice to 16 MLAs. Two petitions have been filed challenging the disqualification notice issued by the deputy speaker and the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary as leader of the legislative party.

The plea filed through advocate Abhinay Sharma said the deputy speaker cannot disqualify any member under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution during the pendency of his own removal resolution and termed his action in recognising Ajay Choudhary and Sunil Prabhu as Leader and Chief Whip of SSLP as illegal according to India Today.

If the SC accepts Shinde's plea, then the rebel camp will approach Mahrashtra Governor BS Koshyari for a floor test saying the MVA coalition has lost the majority, according to the reports.

Shinde says he has 40 MLAs with him, which would mean that if they defect, the Sena-led MVA coalition would lose majority as its numbers would come down from 152 to 112. The majority-mark is 145 in the 288-member assembly.

(With PTI inputs)