Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday expressed confidence that his faction will emerge victorious in the legal tussle with the rebel group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing an application of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction seeking to restrain the Election Commission from deciding on the claim of the Shinde-led group over the “real” Shiv Sena.
“I have full faith in the judiciary and we will win,” former state CM Thackeray told the Sena workers from Osmanabad, which was renamed as Dharashiv in one of the final decisions of his government before it collapsed in June this year. He was addressing the cadre at his residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai.
The Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government had collapsed after a revolt by Shinde and 39 other legislators against the Sena leadership.
Shinde was sworn in as the CM on June 30 along with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
On August 23, the Supreme Court had referred to a five-judge bench the petitions filed by the Thackeray and Shinde-led factions raising several constitutional questions related to defection, merger and disqualification.
It had asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) not to pass any orders on the Shinde faction’s plea that it be considered the real Shiv Sena and be granted the party’s poll symbol.
A bench headed by the then Chief Justice N V Ramana had said the batch of petitions raise important constitutional issues relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution pertaining to disqualification, power of the speaker and governor and judicial review.
The 10th Schedule of the Constitution provides for the prevention of defection of the elected and nominated members from their political parties and contains stringent provisions against defections.
The Thackeray faction had earlier submitted that party MLAs loyal to Shinde can save themselves from disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution only by merging with another political party.
The Shinde group had contended the anti-defection law is not a weapon for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party.