As Sena Wants Rebels Disqualified, 2 MLAs Say Deputy Speaker Can’t Decide

Mahesh Baldi and Vinod Agarwal, both independent MLAs, have moved the notice. File


As the Shiv Sena rebels crisis hurtles towards a possible test of strength in the Maharashtra assembly for the wobbling Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition, two MLAs have called for the removal of the man who could be the key decision-maker.

Mahesh Baldi and Vinod Agarwal, both independent MLAs, have moved notice for the removal of Maharashtra Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who is from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Mr Zirwal has already received the Shiv Sena’s request to disqualify 16 rebels – 12 yesterday and four more today.

The two MLAs have referred to a Supreme Court order in a case from Arunachal Pradesh and have urged the Deputy Speaker not to adjudicate on the disqualification plea against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

In the case cited by the MLAs, the Supreme Court had said Speakers cannot decide on disqualification pleas if a “no confidence” motion is pending against them.

One of the MLAs, Mahesh Baldi, told Mr Zirwal he was not in a position to disqualify anyone.

“I told Deputy Speaker that we found from the media you are expelling 12 MLAs. You are yourself facing no-confidence motion. In the circumstances, you cannot disqualify anyone,” Mr Balde told NDTV.

“If they want to disqualify all 288 MLAs, they can. Only Speaker will remain then,” he shrugged.

Mr Balde said he was against the Congress and the NCP.

“The entire MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government doesn’t have the numbers and they can’t disqualify any MLA,” he said.

Would he approach the court if the MLAs were disqualified? “We will definitely go to the court,” Mr Balde said.

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