Maharashtra Political Crisis: The celebrations included rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde
As the political tug of war in Maharashtra continued on Sunday, Maharashtra's Bhandara MLA Narendra Bhondekar's birthday celebrations were attended by the rebel MLAs at a hotel in Guwahati, said sources.
The celebrations also included the presence of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other MLAs, the sources added.
Earlier, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant joined Eknath Shinde faction at Guwahati.
"Uday Samant, Maharashtra Minister of Higher and Technical Education joined Eknath Shinde faction at Guwahati. He is the 8th minister to join the Eknath Shinde camp," sources earlier said today.
Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by a rebellion by a large section of Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently camping in Assam, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant on Sunday informed that the party has initiated legal action and served notices to concerned MLAs.
Addressing the reporters today, Arvind Sawant said, "Political turbulence is going on in Maharashtra, many MLAs defected and have gone to Assam. We have initiated legal action against them and notice has been served to 16 MLAs till now."
Advocate Devdutta Kamat, Shiv Sena's Senior Counsel also said to reporters, "Proceedings have been initiated by Shiv Sena against 16 MLAs, under the provision in the Constitution which says that if a person gives up the membership of a party then he's eligible for disqualification."
"There were several meetings that were called by Shiv Sena at different times, none of which were attended by them. Visiting BJP-ruled states, meeting BJP leaders, and attempting to topple government amounts to a violation by rebels," Advocate Devdutta Kamat said.
Devdutta Kamat said the concept of 2-3rd (to surpass anti-defection law) applies only if there is a merger. "Until the MLAs don't merge with another party, disqualification applies. Till today there's no merger, they have voluntarily given up membership," Adv Devdutta Kamat said.
Notably, the national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena on June 25 passed six resolutions giving absolute rights to Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within party under control.
The meeting was called in the wake of Sena MLA Eknath Shinde's rebellion, which has not only destabilised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government in the State but also poses a risk of the Thackerays losing control of the party.
The advocate said that under the constitution, the deputy speaker has the power of the speaker in the latter's absence and can adjudicate on such matters. "No confidence motion was sent through an unauthorized email address by rebels," he said.