Eknath Shinde Keeps His Job, “Moral Victory” For Uddhav Thackeray

Despite gaining from an illegal decision by the then governor, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will keep his job, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, in a setback for Uddhav Thackeray over last year’s Shiv Sena rebellion.

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According to the Supreme Court, Mr Shinde and 15 other MLAs cannot be disqualified for revolting against then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in June last year. The speaker will retain that power until a larger panel of judges rules.

Furthermore, it rejected a request to restore Mr Thackeray’s government since he resigned rather than face a test of strength in the assembly.

According to the court, then Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had “erred” in concluding that Mr Thackeray had lost the support of the majority of legislators by taking decisions that helped Mr Shinde’s faction.

The court found that the governor acted outside the law in this case since he did not have any objective material.

In response to reporters’ questions about the sharp comments by the court, Mr Koshyari said, “I’m not a law student.” At the time, I did what I thought was right. When someone resigns, what should I do?”

According to Thackeray, “Eknath Shinde won after murdering democracy. He should resign as Chief Minister, as I did.” Sanjay Raut, his top aide, said it was a “moral victory.”

A democracy places an emphasis on the majority, according to Eknath Shinde. It is clear from today’s decision that the government formed was legally and constitutionally formed.” His deputy, Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, said, “You [Uddhav Thackeray] got elected with a BJP alliance, then formed a government with the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) and Congress.” What happened to your morals then? You left ideology for power. Shinde left power and joined us in the opposition for ideology.”

Thackeray had asked the top court to settle the tussle after Mr Shinde, backed by the opposition BJP, split the Shiv Sena. Having been disqualified, Mr Shinde would have had to resign as Maharashtra Chief Minister and his government would have been disbanded.

Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud ruled on eight petitions clustered on the face-off. Eknath Shinde’s team was represented in court by Harish Salve, Neeraj Kaul, and Mahesh Jethmalani, while Uddhav Thackeray’s team was represented by Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Following the tussle in February, the Election Commission awarded Mr Shinde the Shiv Sena party name and bow-and-arrow symbol. A flaming torch symbolized Mr Thackeray’s smaller faction, Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray.

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