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Maharashtra crisis: Shiv Sena rebels move SC against disqualification notice

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Mumbai, Jun 26: The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde on Sunday approached Supreme Court against the disqualification notices issued by the Dy Speaker against them.

Maharashtra crisis: Shiv Sena rebels move SC against disqualification notice

The leaders, who have been camping at a star hotel in Guwhati, also challenged 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 Shinde's plea on Monday seeking directions to the deputy speaker to not take any action in the disqualification petition against him.

Shinde and a sizable number of MLAs rebelled against the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on June 21 and are currently in Guwahati in Assam. Their main demand is that the Sena withdraws from the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance, which also comprises the Congress and NCP.

With dissident Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde staying put in Guwahati for the last five days, the party is preparing for a legal battle amid the crisis, a Sena MP said on Sunday.

Devdutt Kamat, the legal advisor-cum-counsel for Shiv Sena, said the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly has full powers to adjudicate in the absence of the Speaker- the post is lying vacant.

A day earlier, the Maharashtra legislature secretariat had issued 'summons' to 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including senior minister Eknath Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.

"A legislature party is not supreme and majority in the legislature party has no meaning (if) it is formed from the original party," Kamat told reporters flanked by Shiv Sena chief spokesman and Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant.

"We are preparing for a legal battle," Sawant said. Kamat said disqualification proceedings have been initiated against 16 rebel MLAs as per para 2.1.A of the 10th schedule of the Constitution.

"Several verdicts of the Supreme Court had shown that actions of legislators outside the House amount to the anti-party activity and they are liable to be disqualified. They haven't responded to the party directives to attend meetings convened," he said.

The rebel MLAs have asserted that they are Shivsainiks of Bal Thackeray and demanded that party president Uddhav Thackeray walk out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi and revive ties with BJP. PTI

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