Crucial Supreme Court Order For Team Thackeray Soon, Rebels Head To Goa

Supreme Court hearing on since 5 pm; Team Thackeray has argued that a vote should not be held till the court decides on its petition to disqualify rebel Sena MLAs.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray faces a floor test tomorrow

Mumbai: The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's plea against an order by the governor to prove his majority tomorrow. Shiv Sena rebels, who have ignored Mr Thackeray's appeals to return, have left Guwahati.

Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. Team Thackeray went to the Supreme Court with the argument that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's order is illegal, as 16 rebel MLAs have yet to respond on their possible disqualification. The Governor ordered the test of strength a day after BJP leaders met him and told him the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition has lost its majority.

  2. Congress leader and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented Mr Thackeray's side, contending that one-day notice is too short and arguing that the no-trust vote is linked to the disqualification proceedings. "The Governor's order to conduct floor test with supersonic speed amounts to putting the cart before the horse," he said, accusing him of  "short-circuiting" the Supreme Court proceedings.

  3. The rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde claimed to be the real Shiv Sena in the Supreme Court. It said when a government loses majority, there was a risk of it misusing the office of the Speaker for its benefit.

  4. Mr Thackeray may resign if the Supreme Court sides with the Governor, sources said. At a cabinet meeting in the evening, the Chief Minister thanked his cabinet colleagues for the cooperation they extended in the last two and a half years. "The Chief Minister said 'my own people stabbed me in the back'. It may seem like a farewell but he did not say he was resigning," Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant said.

  5. BJP Mumbai Secretary Vivekanand Gupta said the Governor is not a respondent to the disqualification matter before the Supreme Court. "Hence no order of Supreme court is binding on him. The Governor being the constitutional head is well with his rights to call for floor test, when MLAs have shown no confidence in the government," Mr Gupta tweeted.

  6. Nearly 40 Shiv Sena MLAs have deserted Uddhav Thackeray and joined Eknath Shinde, who moved from Mumbai, first to Surat in Gujarat and later to Assam's Guwahati, with a group of MLAs that has been expanding by the day. After a week at a five-star hotel in Guwahati, the MLAs are set to fly to Goa, around 600 km from Mumbai, to participate in the no-trust vote.

  7. "We will reach Mumbai tomorrow. 50 MLAs are with us. We've two-thirds majority. We are not worried about any floor test. We will pass the test and no one can stop us. In a democracy majority matters and we have that," Mr Shinde told reporters in Guwahati today.

  8. Team Thackeray had asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify 16 MLAs including Mr Shinde, after which the rebel camp approached the Supreme Court, calling the move illegal. The court gave the rebel Sena MLAs time until July 12 to respond to notices for their possible disqualification.

  9. The test of strength will be telecast live, and the proceedings will be recorded on camera by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat through an independent agency, the Governor said. "In order to ensure free and fair voting, it shall be conducted by asking members to rise in their seats for the purpose of counting votes..." Mr Koshyari said.

  10. Mr Shinde claims he has the support of nearly 50 MLAs, some 40 of them from the Shiv Sena. The majority mark currently stands at 144 in the 287-member assembly. The ruling alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, has 152 MLAs. The state government will shrink to minority without the nearly 40 rebel MLAs.



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