Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday greeted his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray on his birthday and referring to him as the former chief minister, wished him a long and healthy life.
“Happy Birthday to Hon’ble Shri Uddhavji Thackeray, Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra. May he have a long and healthy life, pray at the feet of Mother Jagdamba,” tweeted the Chief Minister in Marathi. Shinde had recently led a revolt of Shiv Sena MLAs and 10 independents that triggered the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.
Shinde recently formed a national executive of his faction, claiming it to be the real Shiv Sena.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction and the Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena have each approached the Supreme Court over seeking disqualification of 16 rebel legislators and the claim for the party’s election symbol- the bow and arrow.
The Election Commission has told both the Sena factions to produce documentary evidence by August 8 to prove who represents the Maharashtra party.
The Supreme Court will hear a fresh plea on August 1 with regards to the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp of Shiv Sena seeking a stay on the proceedings before the Election Commission of India on Eknath Shinde group’s claim for recognition as ‘real’ Shiv Sena.
Last week, the Supreme Court 3-judge bench said that some of the issues involved in the Maharashtra political crisis may require to a larger Constitutional bench for consideration A bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari, and Hima Kohli while hearing cases related to the political crisis in Maharashtra had observed that important constitutional issues arise in the cases which may require adjudication by a larger bench.
Earlier, the top court had asked the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Rahul Narwekar not to take any action on the new disqualification notices issued against the members of Shiv Sena.
Uddhav Thackeray-led faction had approached the top court challenging the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari’s decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government and also the Speaker’s election and floor test.
They had also challenged the newly appointed Maharashtra Assembly Speaker’s action recognizing the whip of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde group as the whip of Shiv Sena.
The plea said the newly appointed Speaker has no jurisdiction to recognize whips nominated by Shinde as Uddhav Thackeray is still the head of Shiv Sena’s official party.
Thackeray camp’s Sunil Prabhu had filed a plea seeking suspension from the Maharashtra Assembly of new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.
Shinde group challenged the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, is also pending before the apex court.
On June 29, the top court gave a go-ahead to the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on June 30.
Refusing to stay the Maharashtra Governor’s direction to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority support on the floor of the House on June 30, the bench had issued notice on Prabhu’s plea against floor test.
After the apex court’s order, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as the Chief Minister and Eknath Shinde was later sworn in as the Chief Minister.
On June 27, the top court had granted interim relief to Shinde and other rebel MLAs to file their reply on disqualification notices issued to them by Deputy Speaker by July 12, 5.30 pm. Earlier, Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file a reply by June 27, 5.30 pm.