“Intra-Party Dissent No Ground For Defection”: Team Shinde To Court


Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray are locked in a fight to control the Shiv Sena

New Delhi:

Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena faction has accused the party’s group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of “floating a fake narrative to justify their anti-party stand”. In a Supreme Court battle between the two factions today, the Mr Shinde faction replied that Team Thackeray “want the Speaker to be stripped of all powers and want Supreme Court to become the defection tribunal. This is unprecedented. This is not where the trial is supposed to take place.”

Here are the Supreme Court highlights of Team Eknath Shinde vs Team Uddhav Thackeray:

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No Actual Disqualification…

Team Shinde

They (Team Thackeray) say the Election Commission cannot go ahead with the proceedings but that is not true. Just because there is disagreement between members of the legislature party, it does not mean that the Election Commission cannot decide on issues. The two are completely unrelated. There is no actual disqualification so far.

Team Thackeray

In defection issues, nobody ever says they have given up membership of the party. So they cannot make that argument that they never declared that.

On Ideology And Alliances

Governor

The questions which are involved would have a wide ranging impact on the body politic of this country. In a past judgement it has been made clear that once somebody goes before the electorate he or she does not go as an individual. You go as an ideology. After winning if you go and form an alliance of a different ideology then you cannot say that the members of the party cannot raise their voice against it.

Haven’t Given Up Party Membership: Team Shinde

Supreme Court to Shinde faction

You came to court first and got time. But now you say that they cannot come to court and everything that they (Thackeray faction) are saying is infructuous now?

Team Shinde

Please do not misunderstand me. That is not what I am saying. I have not given up membership of the original political party.

Speaker Will Decide It All?

Supreme Court o Team Eknath Shinde

The way which your submissions are leading, you are saying you filed a plea in Supreme Court and then Supreme Court stayed the disqualification, so then you got time and made a Speaker and now Speaker will decide it all?

Team Eknath Shinde

No, that is not the case.

Supreme Court

We cannot say that everything is infructuous now. Let us have a clear adjudication on these issues.

Team Eknath Shinde

We came to this court because the decision by the Deputy Speaker at that point of time was connected to past Supreme Court judgments and we and our families were facing threats.

Supreme Court

Protection is a separate issue. But we have said in the past that matters should go to high court or the Speaker first. Let the Speaker decide, and then you can challenge it.

Focus On Maharashtra Speaker

Team Eknath Shinde

They want the Speaker to be stripped of all powers and want Supreme Court to become the defection tribunal. This is unprecedented. This is not where the trial is supposed to take place.

Don’t mix Election Commission matters with disqualification

Team Eknath Shinde

The group has gone to EC (Election Commission) and said ‘we are the political party’. Let us not mix EC proceedings with disqualification proceedings. Intra party rebellion within the party is different from a group of leaders leaving the party. This intra party issue is not a ground for defection. BMC (civic body) elections are round the corner, so we have to decide who is the party. The Uddhav Thackeray faction is linking things to EC proceedings unnecessarily.

Supreme Court

Who came to court first?

Team Eknath Shinde

We did over notice issued by Deputy Speaker on disqualification. The court had stayed it. Have I given up membership of the political party? No, I have not. Just because I did not come to a party meeting outside does not mean that I am no longer a party member.

On Intra-Party Dissent…

Supreme Court

So you mean once you are elected political party has no meaning?

Team Eknath Shinde

Intra-party dissent is not ground for defection. We confuse political parties with leaders. So and so party is so and so leader.

Supreme Court

Can you say that since Chief Minister refused to meet you, you decided to form a new political party?

Team Eknath Shinde

We never said there is a new political party. We are not saying that there are two Shiv Senas. We are saying there are two groups within the same Shiv Sena. One leader has lost confidence of the party members.

What is not grounds for defections…

Team Eknath Shinde

Within the Shiv Sena party there have been changes. There are factual controversies on various issues. The basic premise of the anti-defection law is that when you leave your party, nobody has found that there is disqualification. The Thackeray faction claims disqualification notices but nobody has been disqualified so far. Not attending a party meeting held outside the house is not ground for defection.

On anti-defection law

Team Uddhav Thackeray

Is anti-defection law even applicable now or is it something that is just on paper now?

Team Eknath Shinde

The anti-defection law is not for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party members and somehow wants to lock them in and hang on to power.

‘Fruit Of poisonous tree’…

Team Uddhav Thackeray

The only defence that was available to them was if they merged with another political party, but they are not saying they have done that. The constitutional sign of defection is so grave that they should not be recognised as a government. These are the fruits of a poisonous tree and they should not be allowed to continue.

Why urgency in the case…

Team Thackeray

They (rebel MLAs) were sitting in Guwahati (in Assam) and declaring themselves to be the political party. Their purpose is to legitimise defections. Every act that that they have committed is a violation of rules. The government made in Maharashtra is illegal, so all decisions taken by it will also be illegal. Hence, the urgency in the matter for a resolution.

Split from original party…

Team Thackeray

A split from the original party is also considered a ‘situation’. There are laws for each situation. And laws say they will only be recognised as a separate group but not as a party. But they (Team Shinde) claim they are the political party, which is not true. They have made that statement before the EC (Election Commission).

Register with Election Commission?

Supreme Court

Let us say if out of 100, 70 MLAs say they are the party themselves, they have to register with Election Commission or go before the Speaker?

Team Thackeray

They have to register with EC (Election Commission) if they form a new party, but no registration if they merge into another party. But issue is also of balance. 1/3rd are still remaining in the party. The 2/3rd cannot say that ‘we are the party’.

What the law says…

Team Thackeray

The laws require that they (Shiv Sena factions) should have merged or formed a new political party.

Supreme Court

But what if 2/3rds come out of the party? They have to form a new party?

Team Thackeray

Yes, either that or get into a merger.



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