Speaking on the disqualification petitions against the Chief Minister and other MLAs whose rebellion had split the Shiv Sena last year, Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar declared that the Eknath Shinde faction is the true Shiv Sena in the Assembly and that its MLAs cannot be held disqualified.
The Speaker went on to say that Eknath Shinde was duly selected as the Shiv Sena’s leader.
The Speaker was deciding on the disqualification petitions of the rival Shiv Sena factions — 34 in total — which he had divided into six parts.
Pronouncing his order, Speaker Rahul Narwekar said that the 1999 constitution of Shiv Sena has to be taken into consideration as the amended 2018 constitution was not placed before the Election Commission. The 1999 constitution of Shiv Sena removed the concentration of power from the hands of the party chief. However, the amended constitution in 2018 put the power back into the hands of the party chief.
Based on this, the Speaker declared that Eknath Shinde was not the head of the parliamentary party and that Uddhav Thackrey, as the Shiv Sena pramukh (president), lacked the authority to do so.
The Shinde faction MLAs were disqualified by the Uddhav Thackeray group because they failed to show up for the June 21 legislature party that Sunil Prabhu, the chief whip at the time, had called. But Bharatshet Gogawale was now the head whip, according to a resolution passed by the Shinde camp.