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‘Why Did EC Waste Our Time & Money?’ Uddhav Shows Video Proofs Against Narwekar’s Verdict

Shiv Sena UBT lawyer showed a video of the 2018 National Executive meeting in Worli in which Eknath Shinde was elevated to the post of 'party leader' on party president Uddhav Thackeray’s recommendation. (Photo: News18)

Shiv Sena UBT lawyer showed a video of the 2018 National Executive meeting in Worli in which Eknath Shinde was elevated to the post of ‘party leader’ on party president Uddhav Thackeray’s recommendation. (Photo: News18)

At a press conference, Uddhav Thackeray blamed the Election Commission for not taking cognisance of more than 19 lakh affidavits sent to it by his party in the MLA disqualification petition case

Uddhav Thackeray, who recently got a setback from the Maharashtra assembly speaker, Rahul Narwekar, in the Shiv Sena MLA disqualification petition case, held a press conference on Tuesday in which he presented the video evidence and documents related to the 2013 and 2019 inter-party elections and resolutions passed in the national executive meeting.

Uddhav Thackeray blamed the Election Commission (EC) for “wasting the time and money of the party” by asking them to submit the affidavits of support from party workers. “We had submitted over 19 lakh affidavits, what they have done of those? Why were we asked to submit them? Many of you have played the news that many affidavits are false and wrong. This government sent police to the houses of my party workers to verify them. If the EC has not taken cognisance of it, then why were we asked to submit them? Hence, I said we should file a case against the EC.”

Assembly Speaker Narwekar in his order had recently stated that the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena has no evidence to prove that the party chief has the authority and power to remove anyone from the party. He also cited that the latest updated copy of the party’s constitution, which is available with the EC, is of 1999. Hence, he rejected the Uddhav faction’s claim of amendments made in the Constitution in 2013 and 2018, which were informed to the EC.

Shiv Sena UBT had given the tagline “सत्य ऐका आणि विचार करा” (listen to all facts and think on it) for the press conference. Advocate Asim Sarode and Advocate Rohit Sharma, who represented Thackeray, addressed the gathering at the NSCI dome in Worli on Tuesday. Both the lawyers explained to the party supporters, workers and citizens how the assembly speaker had acted outside of the framework drawn by the Supreme Court in the MLAs’ disqualification matter.

While analysing the order of the Speaker, Sarode said, “Though the 10th schedule of (the Constitution) talks about anti-defection law, with his last order, the Speaker of the Assembly has shown the way how anyone can change the party easily.”

He further said a Legislature party, which MLAs form for the term of five years, is not bigger than the political party, whose importance has been mentioned in the Constitution. “The whip can only be appointed by the political party, and not by the legislature party,” he added.

Advocate Anil Parab presented all visuals and documents, which showed that the Shiv Sena had conducted internal elections as per the rule of the Election Commission, contrary to what Narwekar had claimed that there is no record of the amendment made in the Shiv Sena’s constitution in 2013 and in 2018.

In 2013, after the death of Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav was made the party president and the post of party chief was sealed permanently in the memory of Balasaheb. The resolution was passed unanimously in the national executive meeting of the party. The video of the meeting shows leaders such as Gajanan Kirtikar and Ramdas Kadam sitting on the dias with Uddhav.

Shiv Sena UBT also claimed that the same meeting was also attended by Rahul Narwekar who was then the member of the party. But now refused to accept that the party followed all rules. Parab also showed documents of the resolutions, which were submitted to the EC.

Parab further showed a video of the 2018 National Executive meeting in Worli, in which Eknath Shinde was elevated to the post of “party leader” on party president Uddhav Thackeray’s recommendation. “The Supreme Court had mentioned in its observation to consider the Constitution and leadership structure of the Shiv Sena but the speaker didn’t follow it at all. Narwekar has said post 1999, there are no sufficient records regarding the Constitution and leadership structure of the party despite submitting all the records to him,” he said.

Rohit Sharma, who also represented Uddhav Thackeray in court, said Narwekar’s decision is “unconstitutional and against the law as a political party is not a temporary body”. “If a political party contests elections, but does not have a legislature party, does that mean that the party has no existence? Certainly not. That’s why a political party is important,” Sharma explained.

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