Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar on Thursday said that he has not received representation from any group claiming to be a separate party in the House.
His remarks come ahead of the Maharashtra legislature’s Budget Session and against the backdrop of the Election Commission (EC) recognising the group led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena. The EC allowed the Shinde camp to use the bow and arrow symbol in elections, dealing a big blow to the Uddhav Thackeray faction.
Narvekar told news agency PTI that only one party with 55 Shiv Sena MLAs led by CM Shinde and its chief whip Bharat Gogawale is recognised. The Budget Session of the state legislature will be held from February 27 to March 25, while the budget presentation is scheduled for March 9. “I haven’t got any representation so far that there is a split in the party (Shiv Sena). If I get a letter, a decision will be taken as per rules of the tenth schedule of the Constitution (which deals with defection),” said Narvekar who belongs to the BJP.
Also read: SC refuses to stay EC order on Shiv Sena; asks Shinde camp to file reply in 2 weeks
In the 2019 assembly elections, 56 MLAs were elected on the Shiv Sena symbol. The death of one of them, Ramesh Latke, necessitated a bypoll last year in which his widow Rutuja Latke won as a candidate of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), which was given the flaming torch poll symbol.
The EC has allowed the Sena (UBT) to keep the flaming torch symbol till the conclusion of the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad Assembly bypolls in Pune district scheduled for February 26.
In another jolt to the Thackeray camp, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay last week’s EC order recognising the Shinde-led bloc as the real Shiv Sena and allotting the bow and arrow poll symbol to it.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Samata Party from Bihar met Shinde on Wednesday and sought his help in getting back its ‘mashaal’ (flaming torch) election symbol that has been allotted to the Thackeray faction.
(With Agency inputs)