The Supreme Court on Tuesday is holding a hearing to decide ‘who represents the Shiv Sena’. The verdict is expected to settle the months-long tussle between former and current Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde

Shinde led a rebellion with a section of Shiv Sena MLAs to culminate in the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government. Shinde took oath as the chief minister on June 30 with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.

Also read: World leaders pay tribute to former Japan PM Shinzo Abe at state funeral: Pics

Shinde asked the Election Commission to consider his faction as the real Shiv Sena and grant the party poll symbol. Thackrey objected. The debate eventually reached the Supreme Court, which asked the EC to decide on the ‘real Sena’ only after the judgement on Tuesday. 

The Constitution Bench’s judgement will decide the fate of the Shinde-faction’s 16 MLAs who revolted against Thackeray, and whether Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will be disqualified from the party.

Also read: Assam to Karnataka: Where are the second round of raids against the PFI is being conducted

If the CM is disqualified, the BJP-Shiv Sena government will collapse and a President rule or mid-term elections will be called. 

Congress and NCP, the other parties in the MVA alliance, said that  justice would be served only if those rebel MLAs who voted against the party whip be disqualified from the party. 

As per Loksatta, NCP State President Jayant Patil said, “If there is justice in the country, we will win. If there is any judicial system left in the country, those who have voted against the party whip will be disqualified under the Tenth Schedule rules. It is natural that they will be disqualified.”

Also read: Local police in eleven states raid PFI offices: Is a ban coming next?

The Supreme Court in August referred the case to a constitution bench. It framed eight questions related to defection, merger, and disqualification.

The court had said that petitions, filed from both sides, raise important constitutional issues relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution pertaining to disqualification, power of the Speaker and Governor, and judicial review.