But the rebel camp is confident that the ruling will go in its favour if the matter lands in court.
The Shiv Sena in an executive committee meeting on Saturday authorised party chief Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.
Both sides are doubling down on their respective positions, as Maharashtra stares at a protracted political turmoil.
Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai this morning.
Maharashtra political crisis live updates
Here are the latest developments from the unfolding political saga in Maharashtra:
Shinde camp moves SC with over disqualification notice
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde approached Supreme Court against the disqualification notices issued by the deputy speaker against the rebel Maharashtra MLAs.
The plea also challenges the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary as the Shiv Sena’s legislative leader in the House in place of Shinde.
A vacation bench of justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala is likely to hear on Monday the plea by Shinde, who along with a sizeable number of Sena MLAs, is currently camping in Guwahati in Assam since June 22.
The rebel group led by Shinde is demanding that Shiv Sena should withdraw from the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, which also comprises the Congress and NCP, but Sena supremo and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has refused to give in and the party has now asked the dissidents to quit and contest polls again.
‘Uddhav Thackeray offered Eknath Shinde CM post on May 20’
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said that Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray called Eknath Shinde and asked him to become CM if he wanted to become so.
“But at that time, he did drama and started weeping. Just a month after, he broke into rebellion,” he added.
Aaditya said that the Shinde faction took undue advantage of CM Uddhav Thackeray’s ill-health to do all of this.
‘Y+’ CRPF security for 15 rebel MLAs
The Centre has provided ‘Y+’ category armed CRPF security cover to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
This comes as Shiv Sena workers hit the streets in large numbers to protest against the rebel MLAs, despite prohibitory orders in place.
The MLAs whose security has been upped are: Ramesh Bornare, Mangesh Kudalkar, Sanjay Shirsat, Latabai Sonawane, Prakas Surve, Sadanand Saranavnkar, Yogesh Dada Kadam, Pratap Sarnaik, Yamini Jadhav, Pradeep Jaiswal, Sanjay Rathod, Dadaji Bhuse, Dilip Lande, Balaji Kalyanar and Sandipan Bhumare.
Demonstrations were seen outside the Saamana office in Mumbai where Thackeray loyalists took out a bike rally. Protests were also witnessed in Pune.
Pune, Maharashtra | Shiv Sena workers hold ‘joote maro andolan’ against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs https://t.co/fFvLrtIJM2
— ANI (@ANI) 1656223717000
One more Uddhav’s minister switches over to rebel camp
Higher education minister Uday Samant became the 8th from the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet to join the rebel camp of Eknath Shinde in Guwahati.
Thackeray loyalists meanwhile sounded an ultimatum that rebels will not be taken back into the party.
“Shiv Sena’s doors are open for those who want to leave and those who want to return to the party. Those rebel MLAs who are traitors will not be taken back into the party,” minister Aaditya Thackeray said.
Thackeray loyalists’ veiled warnings to rebels
In a subtle warning to the Shiv Sena rebels currently camping in Guwahati, party leader and cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray has said the road from Mumbai airport to Vidhan Bhavan, the state legislature complex here, goes via Worli.
Worli, traditionally a Shiv Sena bastion in Mumbai, is the assembly constituency represented by Aaditya Thackeray.
Addressing party workers on Saturday evening, Thackeray said there was no place for “traitors” in the party.
Meanwhile, hitting out at the rebel MLAs, Raut said that 40 MLAs in Guwahati are living corpses, their souls are dead.
“Their bodies will be sent directly to the assembly for post-mortem when they come back. They know what can happen in the fire that has been lit here,” Raut added.
No provision for split, merger only option for Shinde: Experts
Former principal secretary (legislature secretariat) Anant Kalse felt that the Shinde camp’s homework on the anti-defection law was grossly inadequate, while retired Justice B G Kolse Patil said that the Shiv Sena leader has been trapped and it may not be possible for him to come out of it.
Former speaker Arun Gujarathi and former minister Eknath Khadse said that in the days to come, Maharashtra will witness a long-drawn legal battle involving the deputy speaker, governor and the election commission.
Rebel camp confident of a favourable court ruling
Rebel Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar, who is in Guwahati, told TOI that the group supporting Eknath Shinde will move the Bombay high court early next week to challenge the decision of Uddhav Thackeray to replace Shinde from the party chief whip’s post and to appoint a new MLA to the post.
“We will be moving court by Monday or Tuesday. Our group has the backing of the majority of Sena legislators. We are confident the court would give its verdict in our favour,” Kesarkar added, stating the rebel group would also make a similar move if the 16 MLAs are disqualified.
Prohibitory orders in Mumbai till July 10
The prohibitory orders issued by the city police under section 37 of the Mumbai Police (MP) Act in the first week of June, ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, will continue to remain in place till July 10. It bans the assembly of five or more persons at one place.
With tempers running high among Shiv Sena workers following the rebellion by party leader Eknath Shinde, the Mumbai police have deployed its personnel at the city-based offices of various political parties and leaders, including ministers, MLAs and MPs, and their residences as a security measure, an official said on Saturday.