The Speaker further added that Eknath Shinde was validly appointed as leader of the Shiv Sena.
Uddhav Thackeray had no power to remove Eknath Shinde, said the Speaker, adding that Shiv Sena president doesn’t hold the decision making powers but the Rashtriya Karyakarini.
Uddhav Thackeray’s decision was not synonymous to the party’s will, according to the 1999 constitution, the Speaker said. The 1999 constitution of Shiv Sena, relied upon by Eknath Shinde, has been accepted, the Speaker added further.
In June 2022, Eknath Shinde and several MLAs rebelled against then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, leading to a split in the Sena and the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, which also comprised the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
What Speaker Narwekar said
The Shiv Sena (undivided) constitution was amended in 2018 but it was not on the records. So, the constitution of 1999 which was there with the Election Commission of India was considered.
There was no organizational election in 2018.
In the 2018 leadership structure, the paksha pramukh is mentioned as the highest office but the 2018 leadership structure was not in conformity with the constitution.
Shiv Sena constitution (1999) said the national executive, not the paksha pramukh, was the highest body.
The party constitution said the paksha pramukh does not have any absolute power and he has to consult with the national executive.
Why we are not disqualified: Uddhav calls out ‘murder of democracy’
Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the Assembly Speaker’s verdict ‘is a murder of democracy.’
It is also an insult to the Supreme Court, the former chief minister, who resigned in 2022 facing a rebellion led by Shinde with the help of the BJP, said.
The Uddhav faction has already announced that they reject the verdict and would move the Supreme Court against it.
Mr Thackeray continued, ‘I think the Assembly Speaker did not understand the mandate, what he was asked to do. It was a simple case of disqualification. The Supreme Court laid down a framework but the Speaker thought he was above the Supreme Court and came up with his own court and verdict.’
‘Probably, he did not understand or there were orders from the top,’ the former CM said.
‘I already said it was a fixed match. The verdict is a murder of democracy and will not even stand in the Supreme Court. But it remains to be seen whether the tribunal is above the Supreme Court or if the Supreme Court is supreme. I often express concern about whether there will be democracy in India, but today I wonder whether the Supreme Court will be there in the country,’ he added.
Verdict goes against Supreme Court ruling: Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar who faces a similar rebellion in the party by nephew Ajit Pawar said the verdict of the Maharashtra assembly speaker is against the guidelines determined by the Supreme Court.
‘The Apex Court in its verdict gave importance to the party organisation as they are the ones who select candidates. The Speaker, on the contrary, considered majority of the legislative party more important,’ Pawar said.
‘Because of the wording used in the verdict, I’m sure Uddhav Thackeray will get justice in the Supreme Court,’ Pawar said.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius