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Maharashtra Speaker Issues Notices To 40 Shiv Sena MLAs And 14 Uddhav Thackeray Faction Members On Disqualification Petitions

This move comes after receiving a copy of Shiv Sena's constitution and sets the stage for a crucial hearing on the matter.

Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray
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In a significant development, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar has issued notices to 40 MLAs belonging to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and 14 MLAs from the Uddhav Thackeray faction. The notices are in response to disqualification petitions filed against them. These legislators have been given a period of seven days to file their replies.

The notices have been issued to a total of 54 MLAs, which includes Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray. However, one notable exception is Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Rutuja Latke, who was elected after the Shiv Sena split last year.

This development comes just a day after Narwekar announced that he had received a copy of the Shiv Sena's constitution from the Election Commission of India. He further stated that the hearing on the disqualification petitions against 16 Shiv Sena MLAs, including Chief Minister Shinde, would commence soon.

Speaking to PTI, Narwekar stated, "Notices seeking replies on disqualification have been issued to 40 MLAs of Eknath Shinde-Shiv Sena faction and 14 MLAs of Uddhav Thackeray faction." However, Shiv Sena MLA and spokesperson Sanjay Shirsat claimed that he had not received any notice from the state legislature thus far. He also mentioned that the Shiv Sena, led by Shinde, had filed disqualification petitions against 14 MLAs from the Uddhav camp, including Aaditya Thackeray.

Earlier this week, the Shiv Sena (UBT) had approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Assembly Speaker to expedite the hearing of the disqualification petitions. In response, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Arvind Sawant criticized Narwekar, stating, "The speaker did nothing regarding the disqualification pleas for the past two months, which is why we approached the Supreme Court. This move prompted him to issue notices and seek replies within seven days."

Sawant also referred to a previous judgment by the Supreme Court in May, which acknowledged Sunil Prabhu as the whip during the Sena rebellion. Last year, MLA Sunil Prabhu, acting as the chief whip of the undivided Shiv Sena, filed the disqualification petitions against Shinde and 15 other MLAs after they rebelled and joined forces with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022.

On May 11, the Supreme Court ruled that Eknath Shinde would continue to hold the position of Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The court clarified that it could not reinstate the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray since Thackeray had chosen to resign without undergoing a floor test following Shinde's rebellion.

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