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"We know he will not resign even in his dreams": Ajit Pawar on demand by MVA leaders for Maharashtra CM Shinde's resignation

Pune: NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Monday took a dig at Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde saying that he will not resign as Maharashtra Chief Minister on moral grounds following the Supreme Court verdict on last year's political crisis in the state and said the opposition MVA alliance will see what it can do on the issue of disqualification of 16 MLAs during the assembly session in July.
He also took a swipe at the BJP's central leadership. "There is no need of demanding resignation from the current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on moral grounds. We know he will not resign even in his dreams. There is a huge difference between former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the current people," Pawar told reporters.
"The next Assembly session will be held in the month of July. We will use our rights to see what we can do about this issue," he added.
He also said that Congress leader Nana Patole resigned as Speaker without consulting then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and if a new Speaker had been elected immediately, the 16 MLA belonging to the Shinde camp would have been disqualified.
"Our Speaker had resigned then without asking our CM Uddhav Thackeray, that should not have happened. Even if he resigned, we could have elected a new Speaker immediately. If we had our Speaker, then those 16 MLAs would have been disqualified then," he said.
The constituents of Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance have said that the Shinde government should resign on moral grounds following the Supreme Court verdict.
Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut had said on Thursday that the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra "is illegal and formed against the Constitution".
Chief Minister Shinde on Thursday said that former Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had acted as per the situation at the time.
"I won't talk about what Supreme Court said about the then Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, but I would say that he acted as per the situation at the time," he said at a press briefing.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis described the Supreme Court verdict as "victory of democracy and the democratic process".
"This is a victory for democracy and the democratic process. We are satisfied with the verdict given by the Supreme Court," Fadnavis said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday held that former Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was "not justified" to call for a floor test based on the request of Eknath Shinde faction since he did not have enough objective material before him to conclude that the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had lost the confidence of the House.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha said it could not disqualify the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government and reinstate Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minster because the latter had chosen to resign instead of facing a test of strength in the Assembly.
The court said the political imbroglio in Maharashtra arose as a result of party differences within the Shiv Sena.
"However, the floor test cannot be used as a medium to resolve internal party disputes or intra-party disputes. Dissent and disagreement within a political party must be resolved in accordance with the remedies prescribed under the party constitution, or through any other methods that the party chooses to opt for," the bench held.
"There is a marked difference between a party not supporting a government, and individuals within a party expressing their discontent with their party leadership and functioning."
It further said that the Governor is the "titular head of the State government" and he is a constitutional functionary who derives his authority from the Constitution.
"This being the case, the Governor must be cognisant of the constitutional bounds of the power vested in him. He cannot exercise a power that is not conferred on him by the Constitution or a law made under it," the top court said.
The judgement of the apex court came on a batch of petitions filed by rival groups of the Shiv Sena in relation to the Maharashtra political crisis.
The Whip has to be appointed by a political party, the top court said. The apex court held that the
Speaker's decision to appoint Bharat Gogawale (Eknath Shinde) as the whip of the Shiv Sena party was illegal.
"The political party and not the legislature party appoints the Whip and the Leader of the party in the House. Further, the direction to vote in a particular manner or to abstain from voting is issued by the political party and not the legislature party. The decision of the Speaker as communicated by the Deputy Secretary to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly dated July 3, 2022, is contrary to law.
The Speaker shall recognise the Whip and the Leader who are duly authorised by the Shiv Sena political party with reference to the provisions of the party constitution, after conducting an enquiry in this regard and in keeping with the principles discussed in this judgement," it held.
The apex court further said that the Speaker must decide on disqualification petitions within a reasonable time.
It also said that MLA has the right to participate in the proceedings of the House regardless of the pendency of any petitions for their disqualification.
"The validity of the proceedings of the House in the interregnum is not "subject to" the outcome of the disqualification petitions," it added. (ANI)

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