Did not receive any whip last year, claims MLA of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena

Did not receive any whip last year, claims MLA of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena

Mumbai, Nov 23 (PTI) Ruling Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat on Thursday claimed legislators who rebelled against party president and then-Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray did not receive any whip in June last year.

Talking to reporters after the cross-examination of Sunil Prabhu, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and party's chief whip, for the third consecutive day, Shirsat accused the rival group of trying to delay hearing of disqualification pleas pending for adjudication before assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar.

The opposition Shiv Sena (UBT) is headed by Thackeray.

'Explanation given by Sunil Prabhu (during cross-examination) on issuing a whip was not satisfactory. He has not given any proof on the whip issued on mail or WhatsApp. I, too, did not receive any whip,' Shirsat said.

Prabhu has claimed to have issued a whip to all the MLAs of the then undivided Shiv Sena to attend a meeting in June last year.

Shirsat is one of the 16 MLAs against whom a disqualification petition was filed last year.

The hearing will continue on Monday.

Forty Sena MLAs, including current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, had rebelled against Thackeray's leadership in June last year.

Earlier, the Shiv Sena (UBT) had accused the rival group led by Shinde of delaying the hearing of disqualification pleas by asking repetitive questions to Prabhu.

The Supreme Court last month directed speaker Narwekar to give the judgment on disqualification of rebel Sena MLAs by December 31.

The apex court had come down hard on the speaker over the delay in deciding the pleas filed by the Thackeray faction for disqualification of CM Shinde and several MLAs loyal to him, saying the speaker cannot defeat the orders of the top court.

Similar disqualification petitions have also been filed by the Shinde bloc against lawmakers owing allegiance to Thackeray.

On September 18, the top court directed the speaker to spell out the timeline for adjudication of the disqualification petitions against Shinde and Shiv Sena MLAs owing allegiance to him who had tied up with the BJP to form a new government in June 2022.

The Thackeray faction moved the apex court seeking direction to the speaker to expeditiously adjudicate the disqualification petitions in a time-bound manner.

The Shiv Sena suffered a split when a group of MLAs led by Shinde revolted against the party leadership and joined hands with the BJP to form the government. The revolt led to the collapse of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by Thackeray. Shinde later took over as chief minister. PTI PR RSY

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