The Supreme Court on Thursday said that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was wrong to order a floor test on the request of 34 dissident Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, but it could not restore the government headed by Uddhav Thackeray since the latter had voluntarily resigned.
Questioning Koshyari’s role, the Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha said, “Nothing shows members withdrew support and communication showed it disagreed with some policy decision of the Udhhav Thackeray government. Whether there would be deliberation or whether they (Shinde MLAs) will merge with another party was unclear.”
This, the Supreme Court said, was not enough for Koshyari to conclude that Uddhav Thackeray had lost the majority.
According to the Bar and Bench website, the court added, “Even if it is assumed that MLAs wanted to leave the government, it was only dissatisfaction portrayed. Floor test cannot be used as a medium to solve intra-party difference or inter-party differences. There is a difference between a party not supporting government and members of some political party being unhappy.”
The Supreme Court slammed Koshyari by reminding a governor was not expected to play a political role in an intra-party or inter-party matter.
Expressing its inability to restore Thackeray as the chief minister of Maharashtra, the court said, “Status quo ante cannot be restored as Mr. Thackeray did not face the floor test and resigned. and thus governor was correct in calling Eknath Shinde to form the government.”
It’s worth noting that Thackeray had resigned on 30 June last year only after the Supreme Court refused to to stay the floor test as directed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.