Aaditya Thackeray’s Name Not on Disqualification List, Shinde Faction Says It’s ‘Out of Respect for…’

The Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena hasn’t given Aaditya Thackeray’s name for disqualification even though he defied the party whip to support the government during the floor test on Monday. Reason: “Out of Respect for Bal Thackeray”.

Chief whip of the Shinde-led faction Bharat Gogawale told ANI, “We have given notices to disqualify all the MLAs who defied our whip. We have not given his (Aaditya Thackeray’s) name (for disqualification) given our respect for Balasaheb Thackeray… CM will take a call on this.”

Aaditya is a former cabinet minister and son of Uddhav Thackeray.

Gogawale submitted the disqualification petition to Speaker Rahul Narwekar to suspend 16 MLAs from the Uddhav camp for defying the whip during the floor test.

Earlier in the day, Shinde won with a thumping majority of 164 against 99 during the trust vote in the Maharashtra assembly. Three legislators abstained from voting, while Congress’s Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar were among those absent during the trust vote.

After the death of a Shiv Sena MLA recently, the current strength of the Assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.

Ahead of the floor test, Sena MLA Santosh Bangar, from the Uddhav Thackeray camp, joined CM Shinde’s faction, taking its tally to 40. Speaking in the House after the floor test, Fadnavis said when some MLAs were voting, members from the opposition benches shouted “ED, ED”.

“It is true the new government is formed by ED, which stands for Eknath and Devendra, the BJP leader remarked. Without taking the name of former CM Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis claimed Maharashtra witnessed a “deficit of leadership availability” in the last few years.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear on July 11 the plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu seeking suspension of CM Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending, saying it was fully conscious of the issue.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala was urged by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Prabhu, that the interim plea needed an urgent hearing due to the pendency of disqualification proceedings against 16 lawmakers, including the chief minister.

(With PTI inputs)

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