‘Not at all surprising’: Sharad Pawar says Eknath Shinde, others in govt had an inkling about Maharashtra speaker’s verdict | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said that Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and others in the government had an inkling that the speaker’s verdict in the Sena vs Sena case would go in their favour.
“The people in the government, including chief minister Shinde, had on several instances spoken on what sort of decision would be coming and it shows they had an inkling about the verdict (going in their favour) and that assurance used to get reflected in their statements,” said Pawar after Maharashtra speaker Rahul Narwekar pronounced his decision.
Narwekar on Wednesday held that the Shiv Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde was the “real political party” even as he did not disqualify any MLA from the two rival camps.
Pawar said the ruling coming in favour of the faction led by chief minister Eknath Shinde was “not at all surprising”, but it should be challenged in the Supreme Court by the rival group led by Uddhav Thackeray.
Pawar noted that Narwekar’s ruling put a stress on the legislative party, while the Supreme Court has stated that the organisational structure is more important than the legislative party.
“In the decision delivered by a five-judge bench in Subhash Desai Vs Government (in a case related to the split in the Sena in June 2022), the importance was given to the organizational structure of the party. The Supreme Court stated that the organisational structure is more important than the legislative party. The Speaker talked repeatedly about who had the majority in the legislative assembly … but the Supreme Court had said that the right to appoint a whip lies with the party and not the legislative party,” Pawar said.
It was the collective opinion of all (Maha Vikas Aghadi constituents) that the verdict would not be pro-Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, the Rajya Sabha MP said. The opposition MVA consists of the Shiv Sena (UBT), the Congress and the NCP (Sharad Pawar group).
Thackeray will have to go to the SC as looking at the wording of the judgement, there is enough scope to believe his faction will get justice in the top court, the veteran politician said.
For Sharad Pawar, the speaker’s verdict will come as a huge concern. Pawar faced a similar rebellion last year, which was led by his nephew Ajit Pawar, and is fighting to gain control of the NCP.
Ajit Pawar had on July 2 filed a petition before Election Commission of India staking claim on the name and symbol of NCP. His contention was that since he has more legislators than Sharad Pawar, the name and symbol should go to him. Sharad Pawar has challenged his claim saying recognition is dependent not on the number of legislators but on organizational strength.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Ashok Chavan said Maharashtra’s sympathy lay with Thackeray.
“Considering the present political situation, the Speaker’s decision was not unexpected. The sympathy of the country as well as the state is with Uddhav Thackeray,” Chavan told reporters in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.
“This is not Uddhav Thackeray’s fight alone but this is a fight to safeguard the democracy. He should seek justice and go to the Supreme Court. Democracy will win for sure,” the Congress leader said.

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