The Supreme Court's Verdict Provides Much-Needed Stability To The Shinde Government, Bringing Relief To The Ruling Dispensation

by Web Desk | Published: 12 May 2023

BMC Elections 2023
The recent decision by the Supreme Court has brought a sense of relief to the Eknath Shinde administration. According to the ruling, the resignation of the leader of the Shiv Sena (UBT) means that the Uddhav Thackeray government cannot be reinstated. The Assembly's speaker has been given the authority to decide on the disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs.
The Supreme Court also upheld the Election Commission's decision to award the Shiv Sena party and its emblem to Shinde, which is expected to provide stability to the government. The decision is seen as a victory for the Thackeray camp, as the court criticized the governor's actions during the political crisis.
The court ruled that the governor's order for a floor test was improper and that it was wrong for Bharat Gogawale, an MLA for the Shinde camp, to be chosen as the whip. The Nabam Rebia case, which involved the speaker's authority over the disqualification process, was sent to a seven-member court. However, the court did not demand that Shinde resign or that Thackeray be reinstated as chief minister.
Both parties welcomed the ruling as a victory for democracy. Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister, criticized Thackeray's claims of morality but acknowledged that his decision to resign was driven by moral considerations. He challenged Thackeray, asking where his morality was when he joined hands with the Congress-NCP, against whom he had contested the election. Shinde, on the other hand, hailed the decision as a validation of his government's legitimacy and constitutionality.
The ruling is expected to have significant political ramifications, both locally and nationally. The BJP needs the Shinde-led administration to remain in power as Maharashtra sends 48 representatives to the Lok Sabha. The decision could also impact local body elections, where the BJP and Shiv Sena (Shinde) have a better chance of winning if the state government survives.
However, if Shinde is given more power, some additional MLAs or people's representatives in local bodies may defect from the Thackeray camp. A few MLAs from additional Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi constituencies are also expected to join the BJP. Given that the speaker, Rahul Narvekar, is a member of the BJP, the decision to disqualify 16 MLAs is likely to tip the balance of power in the cabinet in the BJP's favor.
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