Anybody with a basic understanding of law knew from day one that the Supreme Court cannot decide on the disqualifications of MLAs. It is the power of the speaker, and enshrined in the Constitution.
So what was it that everyone was waiting for?
We all wanted an answer to the question: who is responsible for the collapse of the MVA government?
Finally, the Supreme Court answered it point blank. The MVA government collapsed because of the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray.
Had he not resigned the courts could have even reinstated him. But he resigned as the CM, and the then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was left with no other option than calling BJP, which was the single largest party to form the government.
The BJP and Shiv Sena decided to come along, and formed the government in the state.
The questions that the Supreme Court raised on the decisions and actions of the Speaker and the Governor are for academic purposes and can be dealt in future cases. However, for now the decision is clear. The Eknath Shinde- and Devendra Fadnavis-led government is safe and will last its full term.
So what does it mean for the politics of Maharashtra?
The Supreme Court decision has made everyone realise that Uddhav Thackeray took a decision that in no way will showcase him as a mature politician. Everyone, including his allies from Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had expressed their displeasure over his resignation.
Defending himself, Thackeray has said that even though it may have been 'legally' wrong to resign, morally it was the right thing to do as he did not want to give the 'rebels' the privilege of questioning him.
This again suggests that he likely acted without consultation with his own party men and leaders, an accusation that he faced during the entire rebellion.
In his press conference, Uddhav Thackeray spoke extensively on the Governor, and his role, just like the apex court, and even demanded that the position be abolished and that he will approach the Supreme Court for the same.
Uddhav Thackeray is now sticking with the SC statement, that it is the party which can decide the whip; however, he has forgotten that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has already recognised Shinde's group as Shiv Sena. So it will be Shinde who will nominate the whip.
Shinde on his part, has received a seal of approval from the Supreme Court, to stay as the Chief Minister. This means a booster shot for Shinde who already had got the first celebratory news when ECI granted him the party.
Shinde will now use the symbol and the party name without any issue. This is likely to aid him in the future elections. The symbol is what people vote for, and the Shiv Sena symbol being with Shinde could give him an upper hand over Uddhav Thackeray.
The other question now is: when the speaker will decide the whip based on whom the party belongs to, it will also make it clear that Aaditya Thackeray can no longer sit on the opposition benches.
He will have to follow the whip and going against it will mean disqualification, which he cannot afford.
Talking about Uddhav Thackeray’s politics and his acumen as a politician, the decision has dented his reputation for sure. The entire blame for the collapse of the MVA government is now at the doorstep of Uddhav Thackeray.
Today's verdict may make the already nervous allies, especially the NCP, take the easy decision of quitting the alliance. Even Congress wouldn’t want to be seen with a leader who caused his own government’s collapse.
Uddhav Thackeray met Nitish Kumar today (11 May) at his home in Mumbai.
Nitish, as many speculate, aspires to be the PM face of opposition but the Congress is hesitant about it.
Uddhav Thackeray has also got newer allies the NCP is wary of.
Such actions of Uddhav Thackeray are causing trouble in already tenuous relationship between MVA allies.
After today's verdict, it is likely that the political centre of the Shiv Sena will move from Matoshree to Shinde’s Sena Bhawan.
Maharashtra politics is changing and a new leader is taking over the Shiv Sena, a party that has dominated the political scene for a long time and surprisingly it is not a Thackeray leading the change.
Varun Singh, is a Mumbai-based journalist and tracks politics and other important news from the western region of the country. Varun has spent close to 18 years in journalism.
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