The Shiv Sena is filing an appeal with the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker seeking disqualification of around 12 rebel MLAs, sources in the Maharashtra government’s legal team.said as the number of rebels camping out in Guwahati crawled over 40. The list includes Eknath Shinde, Tanaji Sawant, Mahesh Shinde, Abdul Sattar, Sandipanrao Bhumre, Bharatshet Gogawale, Sanjay Shirsat, Yamini Jadhav, Lata Chandrakant, Anil Babar, Prakash Surve and Balaji Kinikar.
Eknath Shinde has already reached the critical number of 37 required to split the Sena in the assembly without falling foul of the anti-defection law.
This reduces Uddhav Thackeray to a minority in the party founded and led for decades by his father, Bal Thackeray. The Maha Vikas Aghadi had earlier claimed that 17 MLAs from the rebel camp is likely to return to the fold.
But the application the MVA government is planning to file is expected to act as a deterrent for the rebels. A disqualification application from the Chief Minister has to be decided upon first before the Deputy Speaker can deal with any other application from the Shinde camp.
Veteran politician Sharad Pawar — who crafted the MVA alliance and whose Nationalist Congress Party is part of the government — expressed confidence today that the government will survive.
“A floor test will decide who has majority,” Mr Pawar told reporters this evening. “Everyone knows how the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs were taken to Gujarat and then Assam (both BJP-ruled). We don’t have to take the names of all those assisting them…Assam government is helping them. I don’t need to take any names further,” he added.