After the Shiv Sena (UBT), even the Nationalist Congress Party has demanded that the issue of disqualification of 16 MLAs - including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde - must be decided quickly, here on Thursday.
NCP National Spokesperson Clyde Crasto called upon the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar to act on the matter on priority now that the Supreme Court verdict is out.
"Narwekar should take a non-partisan and quick decision to solve the issue... If not, then the delay in taking the decision might raise questions on the Constitutional position of the Speaker," Crasto pointed out.
Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday raised questions over the Speaker addressing the media several times on the 16 MLAs disqualification issue.
Referring to Narwekar's statement that if the SC could take some 10 months on its judgement, why the Speaker should not get a reasonable period to take a decision, the NCP leader said the apex court had studied the case minutely and then directed the Speaker to take certain decisions prescribed under authority as a constitutional head of the Maharashtra Legislature.
Crasto said that the SC has already termed the appointment of Shinde Shiv Sena's Whip Bharat Gogawale as illegal and this will actually make it easier for the Speaker to give his ruling as all directives issued by an unauthorised Whip are rendered invalid.
On May 15 (Monday), a Sena (UBT) delegation led by its Whip Sunil Prabhu met Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal and submitted a memorandum urging that the Speaker should take his decision as early as possible.
Last week, the SC had put the question of the 16 MLAs in the Maharashtra Speaker's domain, and to take the decision in a reasonable time.
Simultaneously, other MVA leaders like state Congress President Nana Patole, state NCP President Jayant Patil, and Sena (UBT) have adopted a similar stance in the matter and appealed to the Speaker to dispose of it at the earliest.
The ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party's Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has flayed the Opposition for indulging in "pressure tactics" on the Speaker, and said "the Speaker will not succumb to such pressures and take his decision as per the Constitution".
Meanwhile, the Speaker has already initiated the due process as directed by the SC verdict on this issue.
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