In the midst of an escalating factional dispute within the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), notices have been issued to eight Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) belonging to rival factions.
Neelam Gorhe, the Deputy Chairperson of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, issued the notices on December 7, directing the MLCs to provide responses to pleas seeking their disqualification.
The notices specifically named Satish Chavan, Aniket Tatkare, Vikram Kale, Amol Mitkari, Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar from the Ajit Pawar-led camp, and Eknath Khadse, Shashikant Shinde, and Arun Lad from the Sharad Pawar faction.
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The notices were issued under the Maharashtra Legislative Council (Disqualification on ground of Defection) Rules, 1986. The MLCs have been given seven days from the receipt of the notices to submit documents in their defense to the Deputy Chairperson.
According to the rules, failure to submit written responses along with supporting documents within the stipulated seven days will be construed as an absence of a defense, leading to decisions being made accordingly, as per the notices.
The factional dispute within the NCP escalated when Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on July 2. This move resulted in a significant split within the NCP, a party founded by Sharad Pawar in 1999.
The petitions seeking disqualification were filed by the Sharad Pawar camp against five MLCs who defected to the Ajit Pawar faction. Simultaneously, the rival group sought disqualification of three council members aligned with the party founder's side.
The notices come as part of the ongoing legal and procedural actions surrounding the factional turmoil within the NCP, with implications for the political landscape in Maharashtra. The responses from the MLCs will play a crucial role in determining the course of action and potential disqualification outcomes in this politically charged scenario.
Meanwhile, Leader of opposition in Maharashtra legislative council Ambadas Danve on Friday said he has written to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urging him to reveal the names of people who had links with late gangster and drug smuggler Iqbal Mirchi, whose properties have been seized in Mumbai.
He was responding to a query related to NCP leader Nawab Malik, who was seen on a treasury bench seat on Thursday.
Malik's presence in the treasury benches did not go down well with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who shot off a letter to Ajit Pawar conveying his reservation about including the former minister, an accused in an ED case, in the ruling 'Maha Yuti' alliance.
"He is the same Nawab Malik against whom the CM and deputy CM had levelled allegations of treason... I have demanded that the government reveal whether Malik is a traitor or not when he sits next to you all," Danve said.
The Shiv Sena (UBT) leader also said that he has written to Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, requesting him to reveal the names of the people who had ties with Mirchi whose properties have been seized in Mumbai and action taken against those "dalals" (agents). (With inputs from agencies)