Sent From "Anonymous Email", Motion Against Deputy Speaker Rejected

Though 34 rebel MLAs had signed the no-confidence motion, none of the MLAs submitted it to the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal's office, choosing instead to send it through an anonymous email ID on June 22 at 11:30 AM, sources said.

Sent From 'Anonymous Email', Motion Against Deputy Speaker Rejected

Eknath Shinde along with 38 Shiv Sena MLAs are in Assam's Guwahati. (File)

In a setback for the Shiv Sena rebel MLAs, the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker has rejected the no-confidence motion moved by minister Eknath Shinde's camp against him.

Though 34 rebel MLAs had signed the no-confidence motion, none of the MLAs submitted it to the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal's office, choosing instead to send it through an anonymous email ID on June 22 at 11:30 AM, sources said.

"In view of the gravity of the subject matter, it is imperative that the genuineness of the communication be verified and ascertained before taking the same on record," sources told NDTV as reason for rejection of the no-confidence motion.

They added, "Therefore, unless and until the persons who have purportedly signed the aforesaid communication come in person and submit the same, so that the genuineness and veracity of it is confirmed, the said communication dated 22.06.2022 is not liable to be taken on record or acted upon."

The motion was based on a case from Arunachal Pradesh, in which the Supreme Court said Speakers cannot decide on disqualification if a no-confidence motion is pending against them.

Mr Zirwal, who is from Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had earlier cleared the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary to replace Eknath Shinde as leader of the Sena in the assembly.

Mr Shinde called the move illegal, saying that Mr Chaudhary's name was proposed by the "minority faction" and that he represents the "real Sena".

In a bid to stop Mr Zirwal, Mahesh Baldi and Vinod Agarwal, both independent MLAs, had moved for his removal.

The motion against Mr Zirwal was sent on the Shiv Sena letterhead however, as per the assembly records, the Shiv Sena Legislature Party Leader is Ajay Chaudhary and not Eknath Shinde, sources added.

Speaking to NDTV, Mahesh Baldi had said, "I told the Deputy Speaker that we found from the media you are expelling 12 MLAs. You are yourself facing no-confidence motion. In the circumstances, you cannot disqualify anyone. We will soon initiate legal steps."

He also said that if disqualified they would "definitely go to court".

The rejection of the no-confidence motion came on a day when the Eknath Shinde camp moved to name themselves as 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb', sources said.

It also coincided with notices dispatched to 16 rebel MLAs on the disqualification plea and they have to appear in person or through counsel on Monday evening to respond to the disqualification plea.

Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal has found himself at the centre of the political crisis in Maharashtra where the Speaker's post has been vacant since February 2021, when Congress leader Nana Patole quit the job to become the party's state chief.

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