Uddhav Thackeray's biggest mistake exposed in Supreme Court? Quitting before losing floor test

March 18,2023

The Uddhav Thackeray camp has approached the Supreme Court against the Maharashtra governor's order for a floor test for then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his reinstatement as the CM. But a decision taken by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government to avoid embarassment now seems to have become its costliest mistake.

A five-judge Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, has been hearing the case for nine days.

The Supreme Court said on Thursday restoring the government would have been a logical thing for it to do provided Uddhav Thackeray had lost the trust vote on the floor of the Assembly. "Then clearly you have been ousted from power because of a trust vote which has been set aside," the bench said. 

The bench wondered how it could reinstate the Thackeray-led government even if it were to find the governor's call for a trust vote illegal.

"How can we reinstate a government which has itself admitted to have lost the majority in the House by resigning voluntarily without facing the trust vote," asked the CJI Chandrachud-led bench.

The bench reserved its judgment in the matter.

Following an appeal by the BJP, then Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari issued directions to the crisis-hit Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to prove its majority in the state assembly on June 30.

Koshyari cited reports that 39 MLAs had shown a desire to exit the MVA government, while seven Independent MLAs had also sent an email withdrawing their support.

Uddhav Thackeray avoided an apparent embarrassment on the floor of the Assembly. 

Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra on June 29 last year, hours after the apex court declined to stay the floor test scheduled to be held a day later on the directive of the Maharashtra governor.

The Constitution bench is seized of a batch of petitions filed by factions of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray in relation to disqualification proceedings against the MLAs of both camps and election of Rahul Narwekar as the new Speaker. 

The pleas are also regarding the recognition of a new party whip for the Shiv Sena, and the governor's directive to Uddhav for proving majority on the floor of the House and subsequently inviting Shinde to form the new government in the state.