Mumbai: The Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said legal action will be initiated against four Lok Sabha members of the rival faction for “defying” the party whip by remaining absent during voting on the women’s reservation bill last week.
A day before, the Shiv Sena had issued a notice to these four MPs.
Although the Shiv Sena split following Shinde’s rebellion last year, the four MPs owing allegiance to Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray are technically still its members in the Lower House of Parliament
Shiv Sena’s legislative party leader Rahul Shewale said a letter has been submitted to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for further action.
In the notice, Shewale stated MPs Vinayak Raut, Rajan Vichare, Omraje Nimbalkar and Sanjay Jadhav defied the party whip despite a directive to vote in favour of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023.
The Lok Sabha passed the bill granting reservation to women on one-third of seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies with 454 members voting in favour and two against it.
The whip was issued by Shinde-led Shiv Sena on September 14 asking its MPs to remain present in the House during the special session of Parliament from September 18 to 22.
“Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has recognised Bhavana Gawli as the whip. There is no case pending regarding this in any high court or Supreme Court. The recognition of the whip is official and it is applicable to all 19 MPs,” Shewale said.
He said Nimbalkar and Jadhav were present in Delhi and yet they remained absent for voting on the bill.
“The real face of the UBT faction has been exposed,” he said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab said it has to be first decided whose whip is valid.
The notice issued on Tuesday to four MPs said, “Your absence from Parliament during the special session itself shows your seriousness in matters pertaining to national interest.”
Earlier, when Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut was asked about the possibility of Shinde’s side issuing a whip (notice) to the four MPs for not attending the discussion and voting on the bill, the Rajya Sabha member said, “It is a trivial matter for us that they would issue a whip (notice) against four of our Lok Sabha members.”
Raut added, “They (Shinde group lawmakers) should first know that none of them is going to win the next election.”