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Maharashtra floor test on 4 July, Shinde holds meeting with Fadvanis and allies

Ahead of the floor test on 4 July, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde along with his faction of Shiv Sena MLAs is holding a meeting with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MLAs, and other party leaders at a hotel in Mumbai.

The new coalition elected BJP candidate Rahul Narwekar as the Speaker of the House with 164 votes in support and 107 against him on the first day of the special two-day session of the Legislative Assembly that began on 3 July.

Meanwhile, fresh rifts have surfaced within Shiv Sena after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis announced rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde the next chief minister of Maharashtra.

ALSO READ: Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra govt to face floor test on July 4

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 3 July witnessed a row over whip between the two factions of Shiv Sena on the Speaker’s election. Prior to this, both Shiv Sena and the Eknath Shinde-led faction had issued different whips directing the MLAs to vote for their respective nominees.

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar has taken on record the letter sent by Bharat Gogawale, who is Chief Whip of the Eknath Shinde-led faction.

The letter mentioned the violation of the whip by 16 MLAs of Shiv Sena. Earlier, Gogawale had issued a whip for the election of the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly.

With the new developments in the state, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has to get ready for a long fight with rebel MLA Eknath Shinde to keep control of the Sena, its election symbol and even party offices, including the iconic Shiv Sena Bhavan. The battle between the two factions is likely to reach the Election Commission of India soon.

The Shinde faction has the strength of 39 MLAs, while Thackeray has 16 MLAs with him, including his son Aaditya. In the latest development, the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Sena has also started the legal process to disqualify 16 MLAs, including Shinde.

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu seeking suspension from the Assembly of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending, saying it was “fully conscious” of the issue on July 11.

A Vacation Bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala was urged by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Prabhu, that the interim plea needed an urgent hearing due to the pendency of disqualification proceedings against 16 lawmakers, including the Chief Minister.

With ANI inputs.

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