Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar overturned Uddhav Thackeray’s removal of now Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as a group leader of Shiv Sena.
Narwekar, while announcing his verdict on disqualification matters on Wednesday, said the faction led by now CM Eknath Shinde was the real Shiv Sena at the time the rival factions emerged.
“Shinde faction had an overwhelming majority of 37 of 55 MLAs when rival factions emerged. Sunil Prabhu ceased to be the duly whip of the party since the rival faction emerged. Bharat Gogavale was validly appointed as whip of Shiv Sena Party and Eknath Shinde validly appointed as leader of the party,” he said.
“It would be appropriate to note that the Shiv Sena constitution does not have a position called a Paksh Pramukh (which Uddhav Thackeray was holding). The will of the Paksha Pramukh is not synonymous to will of political party. The party president does not have a right to remove anyone from the position,” he said.
Speaker said that the leadership structure in 2018 was not in conformity with the Shiv Sena constitution.
“The 2018 leadership structure mentions Shiv Sena pakshapramukh as highest office. However, in the SS constitution, the highest office is Shiv Sena Pramukh and Rashtriya Karyakarini is the highest authority.” Thus, Narwekar said, it cannot be taken as yardstick to determine which faction was the real political party at the relevant time.
“The (Shiv Sena) UBT faction submitted that decision of Paksha Pramukh is synonymous to the will of political party in case of rift. This proposition is devoid of merit,” he said.
He also said that rival factions have emerged in the legislature and political party and amongst leaders of party as well. “Submission that decision of leadership structure has to be construed synonymous with will of party can be applied only if there was dispute between leader of the party and the members. When there is vertical rift and two factions emerge, leaders of both factions Thackeray and Shinde can equally claim will of political party,” he said.