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Maharashtra political crisis: Uddhav Thackeray steps down after Supreme Court gives nod to floor test

On expected lines, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray late on Wednesday quit his post

Uddhav Thackeray

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Jun 2022 2:35 AM GMT

MUMBAI: On expected lines, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray late on Wednesday quit his post and also as Member of the Legislative Council - 9 days after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was reduced to a minority with an unprecedented rebellion by the Shiv Sena legislators.

With this the two-and-half-year-old, three-party Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress government experiment collapsed, barely hours after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari ordered a floor test late on Tuesday night.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court on that Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will have to face a floor test in the Assembly scheduled on Thursday. A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala refused to interfere with Governor's direction to the MVA government to prove its majority in the Assembly on June 30.

"We are not staying the floor test. We are issuing notice... you can file counter," it said.

The top court also said it will hear the matter on merits along with other cases on July 11, and the result of Thursday's test will depend on the outcome of this petition. After a marathon hearing of more than 3 hours, the bench had reserved its order on the plea by Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu, challenging the Maharashtra Governor's direction to prove its majority in the House on Thursday.

In a related development, the top court also allowed Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik and former Anil minister Deshmukh, who is imprisoned in money laundering cases, to be escorted by the CBI/ED to the Assembly to cast their votes in the floor test.

During the hearing on Prabhu's plea, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing him, contended that it won't be proper to have a floor test while tying the Speaker's hands and urged the court to either allow the Speaker to decide the disqualification proceedings or defer the floor test.

He urged the top court to balance the equities and defer the floor test by a week, seeking either the Speaker be allowed to decide the disqualification proceedings, or to advance the hearing in the matter.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the rebel MLAs, submitted that the top court, in its judgments, had said the disqualification proceedings against the MLAs have no bearing on the floor test in the House.

"We are the Shiv Sena and we represent the Shiv Sena (not the other minority)," he said, telling the court that there are 39 dissident MLAs, out of which 16 have been served with disqualification notices as he emphasized that "the dance of democracy takes place on the floor of the house".

He said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is in a "hopeless minority within the party itself, forget the house" and submitted that the best way to prevent horse-trading is to conduct the floor test.

Senior advocates Kaul and Siddharth Bhatnagar, assisted by advocates Abhikalp Pratap Singh and Utsav Trivedi, appeared for 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. Senior advocate Maninder Singh represented Eknath Shinde. (IANS)

Also Read: Maharashtra crisis: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray offers olive branch but rebels spurn it

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