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Maha speaker to start cross-examination of Sena MLAs on Nov 23

Source: PTI
September 28, 2023 18:28 IST
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The cross-examination in connection with the disqualification petitions filed by Shiv Sena MLAs will start from November 23, according to a schedule issued by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar, a move dubbed a delaying tactic by the Shiv Sena (UBT).

IMAGE: Former corporator of Shiv Sena (UBT) Upendra Sawant joins Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, August 30, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

As per the schedule, the cross-examination will be conducted twice a week.

Last week, the Supreme Court directed Narwekar to spell out the timeline within a week for adjudication of the disqualification petitions filed against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Shiv Sena MLAs loyal to him, saying apparently nothing has been done so far despite its direction for deciding the pleas within a reasonable time.


Two rival factions of Sena had filed disqualification pleas against each other after Shinde and 39 MLAs broke away from the original party last year. The breakaway faction under Shinde then tied up with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022.

The schedule drawn up by the speaker has invited sharp criticism from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT).

Sena (UBT) leader and former minister Anil Parab called it a delaying tactic and said the speaker could finish the hearing of the disqualification pleas within a month.

Parab said many developments in the case are ”admitted facts” so there is no reason to delay the hearing.

”The matter should end in a month. This is our request. Whenever this schedule is placed before the Supreme Court, we will put forth views,” he said.

Post-November 23, he said, there will be a winter session of the state legislature. So, hearings will not take place during that time as well, he added.

MLA Sunil Prabhu, in his capacity as chief whip of the undivided Shiv Sena, had filed the disqualification petitions last year against Shinde and 15 MLAs loyal to him after the split in the original party in June 2022.

On May 11 this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Shinde would continue to be the chief minister of Maharashtra. It also said that it cannot reinstate the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government headed by Uddhav Thackeray as the latter chose to resign without facing a floor test in the wake of Shinde's rebellion. 

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