Uddhav faction moves SC against Speaker's decision on new Shiv Sena leader in Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: Readying to move Lok Sabha Speaker for disqualification of 12 Shiv Sena MPs who switched allegiance to Eknath Shinde-led rebel faction, the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction on Wednesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Speaker's decision to recognise new Sena leader and chief whip in Lok Sabha. 

With 12 of the 19 Sena MLAs switching support to Shinde group after it toppled the Thackeray-led MVA government in Maharashtra through an orchestrated coup, the Speaker had recognised Rahul R Shewale and Bhawana Gawale as Sena's legislative party leader and chief whip respectively in Lok Sabha in place of Vinayak Bhaurao Raut and Rajan Vichare. 

Raut and Vichare in a joint petition said the Speaker has removed them from the party-decided posts "illegally, arbitrarily and unilaterally" and that the decision recognising Shewale and Gawale as leader and chief whip is "ex facie illegal, unconstitutional and against the prevailing parliamentary conventions and precedents". It is done at the behest of 'delinquent' (rebel) MPs who are guilty of anti-party activities and against whom separate disqualification proceedings are being initiated, they said. Sources said the petitions seeking disqualification of 12 MPs is likely to be filed before the Lok Sabha Speaker on Thursday. 

"The Speaker made the impugned changes to the positions of the Leader and the Chief Whip without adhering to the basic rules of natural justice or even calling for an explanation from the Shiv Sena political party or the petitioners herein, despite categorical requests in this regard having been communicated to him," they said. 

Thackeray-faction MP petitioners said, "The legislators or the legislature party is only a product of the political party. The legislature party is the species and political party is the genus. There is an umbilical cord which adjoins the legislature party with the political party... Any action of the legislators or the legislature party cannot be divorced from the aims/objectives and the directives of the political party." 

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