In ‘Who Is Real Sena’ Fight, Supreme Court Breather For Team Thackeray

New Delhi:
In a big relief to Uddhav Thackeray in the fight over control of the Shiv Sena, the Supreme Court today told the Election Commission not to decide on a plea by Eknath Shinde, the Maharashtra Chief Minister, to recognise his group as the real party.

Here are the top 10 updates on this story:

  1. The Supreme Court is likely to take a call on Monday on whether the matter needs to be referred to a constitution bench.

  2. Claiming that he commands the numbers – and, therefore, the Sena – Mr Shinde had submitted that courts shouldn’t interfere with internal party decisions “taken democratically by majority”.

  3. During the hearing today, Chief Justice NV Ramana asked important questions to Team Shinde, wanting to know “if you are completely ignoring political parties after being elected then is it not a danger to democracy”. To this,ย senior advocate Harish Salve, who represented the Shinde camp, replied: “No”.

  4. Team Thackeray doesn’t want the Election Commission to decide yet. Earlier, Team Thackeray told the Supreme Court that the poll panel can’t decide which group represents the Shiv Sena till there is clarity on the disqualification of rebel Sena MLAs – who hopped from Gujarat to Assam to Goa in a political operation last month – and dethroned Mr Thackeray.

  5. In their petition, Team Thackeray said the Shinde group is trying to “illegally cobble up numbers and fabricate an artificial majority in the organisation”.

  6. The Election Commission had sought evidence from both sides by August 8, after which it was to hear the matter.

  7. Eknath Shinde has argued that he is the real Sena, “A group of 15 MLAs cannot call a group of 39 as rebels. It is in fact the other way around,” he had said, in his response to the court which is hearing a batch of pleas around the matter.

  8. So far, Mr Shinde has got hold of the party in the assembly with two-third Sena MLAs backing him. But claiming the party as a whole needs proof of majority within grassroots units too, besides other legal requirements.

  9. The faction led by Uddhav Thackeray – unseated as CM in the Shinde-led mutiny, but still party president – has legally challenged a number of decisions by Team Shinde. These include appointment of leaders and ‘whips’ who can issue binding orders to party MLAs and MPs.

  10. The case originally stems from a challenge by Team Thackeray against the Governor’s orders for a trust vote. Mr Shinde won that vote as the BJP, the single largest party in the Vidhan Sabha, backed his faction.ย 

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