Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday interacted with all Shiv Sena district chiefs and liaison chiefs across the state. On the occasion, Neelam Gorhe cited the Eknath Shinde faction’s campaign against secession, citing the anti-secession law and its rules, and clarified that even if two-thirds of MLAs join the Shinde faction, they will have to merge with the BJP or Bachchu Kadu. Loksatta’s dialogue with Neelam Gorhe after that meeting.
What is the future of Eknath Shinde group in the legislature?
The law of secession is applicable in the country regarding the split of MPs and MLAs of political parties. The law requires the support of at least two-thirds of the members of any political party to protect them from the action of the secession law in the event of a split in the parliamentary-legislative party. If less than that, everyone is disqualified. But if the two-thirds majority is reached, the splinter group will have to merge with the other party. If we talk about the current situation, the strength of Shiv Sena was 55. Therefore, Eknath Shinde needs the support of 37 MLAs elected on party lines. If it is less than that, all of them will be disqualified and their MLAs will be canceled. And if the Shinde group has 37 or more MLAs, they will not be disqualified. But they will have to merge with the BJP or the Bachchu Kadu attack with them.
If Shiv Sena has two thirds of MLAs, won’t Shinde group be able to work as Shiv Sena?
The Anti-Secession Act had earlier allowed the legislature to function as two separate groups after a valid split in one party. However, the law was later amended. The provision in the 10th Schedule to the Constitution is clear. If two-thirds split, they will not be disqualified. But they have to merge with the other party. That is why I have said that even if the Shinde faction has two-thirds of the MLAs, it will have to merge with the BJP or Prahar. But basically there is no point in signing it with so many people outside. You have to come to the legislature and prove the support of two-thirds of the members.
What are the provisions regarding one third of Shiv Sena MLAs who will not join Shinde’s group?
According to the anti-defection law, after one-third split in the party, those who remain one-third or less can work as a group. No action is taken against them and no other large group can take action.
Since two thirds of Shiv Sena MLAs are with us, what is the point of us being the tone of Shinde group like Shiv Sena?
The legislature is different from the party and the party is different from the organization. There seems to be some misunderstanding of the Shinde group. Even if the MLAs stay with them, it does not become a split in the party. Shiv Sena election symbol, control over the party are completely different things. Even if the majority of MLAs in the legislature go with Shinde, it will soon be clear who has control over the Shiv Sena party organization. Shiv Sena has a different process for taking control of the party organization and it involves many things like the party’s constitution, its provisions and party structure. The split in the legislature party is decided in the legislature. The issue of party organization is related to the Central Election Commission.
Eknath Shinde and many of his fellow MLAs are experienced, so how come they don’t know about merging groups and controlling the party?
Someone may have misled the Shinde group about the provisions of the anti-party law. Even if two-thirds of the MLAs came along, they would only be protected from disqualification but the group would have to be merged with another party. It seems that the Shinde group should not have been informed about this amendment. There are also some Supreme Court decisions on disqualification. People in general don’t know much about it.