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Maharashtra

Lot of questions about Governor calling a group of people, SC to Shinde counsel

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 The Supreme Court on Wednesday shot a volley of questions at counsel representing Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde while hearing petitions filed by the Shiv Sena and its rebel MLAs on constitutional issues of splits, merger, defection, and disqualification.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Shinde, contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that there is no split in the political party rather, there is a dispute over its leadership, which can be said to be an “intra-party” dispute, not falling within the scope of defection.

As this, the Chief Justice told Salve: “I will ask one question to you, who came first to this court?” Salve replied that the rebel MLAs came to the top court when the then Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra assembly issued disqualification notices to them, even though a notice against him was pending. He added that to say that a Speaker (Rahul Narwekar), who has been elected by the majority should be stripped of all authority and the top court to decide the disqualification is unprecedented.

On July 11, the top court asked the new Assembly Speaker Narwekar, not to decide disqualification proceedings initiated against Shiv Sena MLAs, including Chief Minister Shinde, until the court hears the matter.

The Chief Justice told Salve that Shinde faction came first to the top court and it deferred the matter for 10 days and now the Speaker should decide when the issues are before the court. Salve clarified that he is not saying the Shinde faction got an advantage due to 10 days, instead things are misconceived and not infructuous.

At this, the bench said: “There are a lot of questions about the Governor calling a group of people… we can’t say all these are infructuous.”

The Chief Justice told Salve, the entertaining of that petition (Shinde and rebel MLAs) was contrary to Karnataka judgment where the top court said the high court should be approached first.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing the rebel MLAs, said that “the reason we came here, as there was a serious issue of threats”.

“Protection was given here.”

The Chief Justice then pointed out that generally the person (in this case, the Speaker) decides the matter and those aggrieved challenge it. “Rightly or wrongly, we granted some relief and now you come and say that we can’t decide?”

Salve said the reason they came to the top court was that the Speaker cannot decide the issue, as there was a resolution seeking his removal, and also emphasised that his client has not given up the party’s membership.

The Chief Justice queried further, if tomorrow, a disqualification petition is filed before the Speaker, and some people send a notice against the Speaker, saying the Speaker can’t decide, then?

Salve submitted: “Till the speaker decides if I have given up membership, the question of demolishing my defences will not arise. Why raise ghosts and start slaying themaour argument is simple, we have not given up membership.”

After hearing arguments, The top court asked Salve to redraft the submissions on petitions filed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction, on the questions of law, and scheduled the matter for further hearing on next Thursday.

Maharashtra

Mumbai: TISS students cancel BBC documentary show after BJYM protests

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Mumbai: The premier Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)’s Progressive Students Forum cancelled the planned screening of the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after strong protests by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists, here on Saturday evening.

A student leader – declining to be quoted – said that the film and the projector could not be taken to the venue in view of the protests and pressures from the TISS management and the Mumbai Police.

“Accordingly, we decided to cancel the screening. However, we have forwarded the entire documentary to all the students and they are watching it on their gadgets like mobiles, laptops or tablets,” he told IANS, adding it has reached over 600 students on the TISS Deonar campus and outside.

The developments came even as the TISS management issued a stern ‘advisory’ on Thursday warning the students of strict action if they went ahead with the plans, followed by another circular this afternoon.

Unrelenting, the Progressive Students Forum (PSF) had said it was intended to be “a symbolic protest” against the government’s move to block access to the documentary and their move was in solidarity with other students’ organisations in campuses across the country.

The PSF’s defiant venture came after similar protests erupted in Delhi against the students of Delhi University and around 24 were detained on Friday, as some other institutions in different parts of the country also attempted similar screenings.

Mumbai unit Bharatiya Janata Party President Ashish Shelar had slammed the TISS-PSF plans to screen the documentary and urged the Maharashtra government to take action against the students for attempting to create law and order problems.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai Metro 6 line: Maha Govt urges Centre to provide 15 hectare land free of cost for carshed at Kanjurmarg

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Mumbai: In a significant move, the Shinde Fadnavis government has made a fresh appeal to the Centre to give no objection certificate for making available at free of cost 15 hectare of land for the construction of Metro 6 (Swami Samarth nagar-Vikhroli) carshed at Kanjurmarg in North East Mumbai. This is a fresh request made recently by the state government after it has decided to develop carshed for Metro 3 (Cuffe Parade-Bandra-SEEPZ) at Aarey Colony. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had earlier urged the Centre to make available a total of 43.76 hectares land at Kanjurmarg for combined carshed for Metro 3, 4 and 6. However, the land was not transferred as the MVA government and the BJP-led government at the Centre were at loggerheads. 

Collector had issued order in 2020, withdrew later


On October 1, 2020, the Mumbai suburban district collector had issued an order handing over the possession of 102 acres of land to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the construction of an integrated car shed for the Metro. However, the MVA government on August 30, 2022 told the Bombay High Court that the Mumbai suburban district Collector has withdrawn an earlier order allotting land in Kanjurmarg area for a carshed of Mumbai Metro. Thereafter, the court disposed off a Union government’s petition challenging the collector’s 2020 order. 

Proposal for metro 6 carshed sent to centre, no decision yet

Incidentally, after the Shinde Fadnavis government decided that the Metro 3 carshed will come up at Aarey Colony lifting the stay granted by the MVA government, the MMRDA had requested the state government to provide land at Kanjurmarg for the construction of Metro 6 line carshed. Thereafter, the state government sent its proposal to the Centre in this regard but there has been no decision yet.

A senior urban development minister officer told the Free Press Journal, ‘’The government earlier had sent a proposal to the Centre for handing over a total of 43.76 hectare of land in Kanjurmarg comprising 37.32 hectare from land number 657 and 6.44 hectare from land number 6.44 hectare for a combined carshed for Metro 3, 4 and 6 lines. Now, the land requirement is reduced to 15 hectare as the Metro 3 carshed will come up in Aarey Colony. The government is pursuing its proposal with the union commerce ministry.’’

Metro 6 line to connect Eastern and Western highways

The 14.4 km long Mumbai Metro line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Jogeshwari-Vikhroli-Kanjurmarg) will connect Eastern and Western Express highways through Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) through 13 metro stations with an estimated cost of ₹6,700 crore. The metro line will facilitate commuters to reduce the travel time on the route by 35-45 minutes. 

The 13 metro stations will include Swami Samarth Nagar, Adarsh Nagar, Jogeshwari (W), JVLR, Shyam Nagar, Maha Kali Caves, SEEPZ Village, Saki Vihar, Rambaug, Powai Lake, IIT Powai, KanjurMarg and Vikhroli (EEH)

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Maharashtra

Nashik MLC polls – BJP maintains taut suspense on stance

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Mumbai: With barely 48 hours left before polling on Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued to maintain suspense over whether it would support Congress rebel Satyajeet Tambe contesting the Nashik Graduates’ constituency for the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections.

The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena (UBT) is supporting a BJP rebel, Shubhangi Patil, for the January 30 elections.

BJP MLC Ram Shinde on Saturday revealed that the party would decide on its strategy later tonight, while BJP’s Ahmednagar MP Sujay Vikhe-Patil hinted that the party is capable of “turning the tables overnight” in the elections.

Earlier, state BJP President Chandrashekhar Bawankule had dropped broad hints of extending support to Tambe, saying any decision of “the local (party) leaders would be acceptable”, while emphasising that Patil will not get a single BJP vote.

However, the party has not announced its decision clearly so far, even as discussions are reportedly on between Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior leaders.

A fortnight ago, the Congress got a rude shock when its official nominee and three-time MLC Sudhir Tambe did not file his nomination and instead propped up his son Satyajeet Tambe as an independent candidate.

The party hit back by suspending Sudhir Tambe, expelling his son Satyajeet Tambe and followed up by en masse sacking the Ahmednagar District Congress Committee.

Besides Nashik Graduates’ constituency, the other seats going to polls include Amravati Graduates’ constituency and Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan — all Teachers’ constituencies.

In Nagpur, the main battle is between sitting MLC Nago Ganar, contesting as Independent supported by BJP, against Congress’ MVA-backed Sudhakar Adbale of Vidarbha Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh. Shikshak Bharti’s Rajendra Zade and NCP rebel Satish Itkelwar are also in the fray.

In Amravati, sitting BJP MLC Ranjeet Patil is contesting against Congress’ MVA nominee Dhiraj Lingade.

In Aurangabad, sitting NCP MLC Vikram Kale is locking horns with BJP’s Kiran Patil.

In Konkan, the MVA-supported Peasants & Workers Party’s sitting MLC Balaram Patil is pitted against BJP’s Dnyaneshwar Mhatre.

As the campaigning ended on Saturday, both the MVA and the ruling BJP exuded full confidence that they will make a clean sweep of the five seats in Monday’s elections.

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