Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said "truth shall prevail" and slammed Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over his remarks that the Supreme Court will rule in their favour, in reference to a disqualification plea filed by the Sena (UBT) faction against MLAs of the Eknath Shinde-led group.
Fadnavis on Saturday said the ruling Eknath Shinde-BJP coalition in Maharashtra is a legitimate government.
“What we have done was legal, as per the Constitutional norms and the law was properly studied, and therefore, the result will be in our favour," the BJP leader said, after Uddhav Thacekray-led Shiv Sena faction predicted the collapse of the state government which came to power in June 2022 after Shinde pulled down the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
On Sunday, Raut in a tweet said, "Neither Hon'ble Supreme Court nor Election Commission pay heed to what NON-ENTITIES say. Truth shall prevail." "Who is Devendra Fadnavis to claim that Hon'ble SC will pronounce in their favor? & Narayan Rane announces that EC will give the Shiv Sena Symbol to Shinde?" the Rajya Sabha member asked.
In the 2019 state Assembly polls, the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the 288-member House. The BJP's then ally Shiv Sena (undivided) had won 56 seats, but the saffron allies fell out over the post of the chief minister.
Fadnavis on Saturday refuted the criticism that the state government was illegal and that many members (of Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) will be disqualified (by the apex court).
"This message is being spread so that the remaining 10-15 MLAs (in the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp) don't defect. Whatever we have done is as per the rules and adhering to the Constitution," Fadnavis said. The Supreme Court last month said that it will commence hearing on February 14 on pleas related to the Maharashtra political crisis triggered by the Shiv Sena's division.
Last year, the Thackeray-led MVA government in the state (that comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) collapsed after Sena MLA Shinde and 39 other legislators rebelled against the party's leadership. This later led to the division in the Shiv Sena with one faction headed by Thackeray and the other by Shinde.
The Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena had earlier submitted that party MLAs loyal to Shinde can save themselves from disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution only by merging with another political party.
The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the prevention of defection of the elected and nominated members from their political party and contains stringent provisions against defections.
The top court had asked the Shinde faction to redraft the legal issues of split, merger, defection and disqualification raised in petitions filed by the Thackeray camp that are to be adjudicated upon following the political crisis in Maharashtra.
The Shinde group had said the anti-defection law is not a weapon for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party to lock his members and somehow hang on to power.