Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray. Pic/ PTI; (right) Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde. Pic/Ashish Raje
Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, has issued notices to four Lok Sabha MPs of rival Sena faction over their absence during discussion and voting on the women's reservation bill last week. According to agency reports, Shinde Sena claimed that the four MPs defied the party whip by remaining absent.
Despite the Shiv Sena's split following Shinde's rebellion last year, the four MPs, who owe allegiance to Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray are technically still its members in the Lok Sabha. Shinde-led revolt, apart from vertically splitting the party, led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state which was headed by Uddhav Thackeray.
According to a report in PTI, in the notice to Vinayak Raut, Rajan Vicahre, Omraje Nimbalkar and Sajay Jadhav, Sena leader of the legislative party Rahul Shewale said the MPs of Lower House of the Parliament defied the party whip in spite of issuance of a directive to vote in the favour of the bill 'Nari Shakti Vandam Adhiniyam, 2023'.
The report further stated that the party had issued the whip on September 14 directing its MPs to remain present in the House during the special session of Parliament which was scheduled from September 18 to 22.
Your absence from Parliament during the special session itself shows your seriousness in matters pertaining to national interest," the PTI report cited the notice issued on Tuesday.
The Rajya Sabha cleared the landmark bill last week which will enable reservation of a third of the seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. The bill was previously approved in the Lok Sabha.
When Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut was asked about the possibility of Shinde Sena issuing a whip (notice) to the four MPs for not being present during the discussion and voting on the bill, the Rajya Sabha member dismissed it calling the issuance of notice a "trivial matter". He said, "It is a trivial matter for us that they would issue a whip (notice) against four of our Lok Sabha members." Raut further added, "They (Shinde group lawmakers) should first know that none of them are going to win the next election."