National

Shiv Sena MLAs File Tempo-Load Of Replies To Disqualification Notices

In response to the disqualification notice issued by Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar, 40 Shiv Sena MLAs have filed separate replies spanning thousands of pages. 

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
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The 40 MLAs of the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde have filed separate replies running into thousands of pages to the disqualification notice issued by Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar. 
         
Sena MLA and party spokesperson Sanjay Shirsat said each MLA has filed a reply of 6,000 to 6,500 pages. 
          
“It is not a joint statement. Every MLA has filed a separate reply of 6,000 to 6,500 pages,” he told PTI on Thursday.
      
Shirsat was one of the 16 MLAs against whom disqualification notices were initially issued after they rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray, then chief minister and head of the undivided Sena, in June 2022. The Thackeray group had approached the Speaker with a petition seeking to disqualify them. 
             
“The replies were sent in a tempo,” Shirsat added.
          
When contacted, Sena MLAs Sada Sarvankar and Balaji Kinikar said they were not aware about the length  of the replies. 
          
“The legal team of the party is looking into it,” said Kinikar, who is the party treasurer.
          
Yogesh Kadam, another party MLA who was not among the 16 MLAs who were initially issued disqualification notices, said the document runs into 6,000 to 6,500 pages. The replies they have sent are different from those furnished by the 16 MLAs, he added. 
     
State minister and Shinde faction leader Deepak Kesarkar told reporters that "a long reply does not mean we are wasting the time of the speaker and assembly." 
    
“If the annexure to the reply is big, the number of pages goes up," he said, denying that sending lengthy replies was a deliberate attempt to waste time. 
     
Speaker Rahul Narwekar, meanwhile, told reporters that the hearing on the disqualification petition will start soon. 
    
"I can assure you that there will not be any delay in the process. The other processes are being completed. We will follow all the rules and make appropriate decision,” he added. 
    
The Supreme Court on July 14 had issued a notice to the office of the speaker on a plea by the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena seeking a direction to expeditiously adjudicate the disqualification petitions.
 
The apex court, in its May 11 judgment on petitions regarding the split in the Shiv Sena and collapse of the Thackeray-led government, had said that the pending disqualification petitions must be decided within a reasonable period.

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