Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray criticized Maharashtra assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar’s verdict on the disqualification pleas, stating that considering Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction as the authentic Shiv Sena amounted to undermining democracy. Thackeray announced his party’s intent to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court, emphasizing that the Speaker disregarded clear guidelines provided by the apex court while ruling on the rival Sena factions’ disqualification petitions during a press conference.
The essence of Uddhav Thackeray’s stance revolves around the absence of disqualification despite the anti-defection law’s application. He strongly condemned this, citing it as a distortion of democracy and a disregard for the Supreme Court. Thackeray expressed his party’s intent to challenge this ruling in the Supreme Court, exploring the possibility of a contempt petition against the Speaker. Additionally, he aims to seek a swift decision from the apex court before upcoming elections. Thackeray highlighted the court’s acknowledgment of his faction’s authority under Sunil Prabhu’s whip and Ajay Chowdhary as its group leader, contrasting this with Rahul Narwekar’s assertion that Prabhu lost authority following the party split on June 21, 2022.
Uddhav Thackeray, who resigned as chief minister following Shinde’s rebellion in June 2022, affirmed Shiv Sena’s resilience, asserting that the people of Maharashtra reject this faction of “traitors.” Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde emphasized the significance of numbers in democracy, asserting his faction’s majority over Uddhav Thackeray’s rival group. Reacting to the assembly Speaker’s ruling recognizing his faction as the authentic Shiv Sena, Shinde clarified that the party chief’s individual stance doesn’t represent the entire party’s viewpoint. He underscored that even the Election Commission of India granted his party the name and symbol of the Shiv Sena.
In presenting his decision on the disqualification pleas filed by CM Eknath Shinde’s Sena and the opposing faction led by Thackeray against each other’s MLAs, Speaker Rahul Narwekar determined that upon the party’s division becoming apparent, it was the Shinde-led faction that represented the genuine Sena.