Team Uddhav Thackeray, Eknath Shinde Asked To Submit Documents To Prove Majority
The battle between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde for control of Shiv Sena has moved into a new phase – both will have to produce documentary evidence to prove who will lead the group.
The Electoral Commission has asked both sides to provide documents by August 8, after which the constitutional body will handle the matter.
The two sides will also have to issue written statements detailing their positions on the dispute within the party, which emerged after Mr Shinde and nearly 40 MLAs rebelled last month and formed a new government, with BJP support. Former BJP Minister and Leader Devendra Fadnavis became Mr. Shinde’s deputy in the new establishment.
In a letter to the Electoral Commission, Team Shinde stated that it had the backing of 40 of the 55 MLAs and 12 of the 18 Lok Sabha MPs.
“…It’s clear that there is a split within the Shiv Sena, one group is led by Eknath Shinde and the other is led by Uddhav Thackeray, both groups claiming to be the real Shiv Sena with supposed leadership. party chairman Shiv Sena,” the Election Commission said in a notice to the two factions.
“In order to put both rival groups in an equal relationship and protect their rights and interests, and in line with the former’s priority, the committee has directed that documents submitted by rival groups be exchange and reply/submit written invitation from “Electoral Commission said, will take next step for a “substantive hearing” only after receiving documentary evidence and written statement .
Shinde Camp asked Maharashtra Council Speaker to remove Team Thackeray. However, the Supreme Court on 11 July told Speaker Rahul Narwekar not to proceed with the plea seeking Team Thackeray’s disqualification.
Camp Shinde has said its Sena rivals need to be disqualified for defying the party’s whip in last month’s confidence vote and Presidential election.
Both camps have been asked to frame the matter by July 27 for a larger Supreme Court bench to consider, and the matter will be heard on August 1.