Maharashtra political crisis and anti-defection law
The anti-defection law has once again come into the limelight after 34 MLAs wrote to the Maharashtra Governor promising their support to Shiv Sena's 'rebel' MLA Eknath Shinde.
Some MLAs have formed an alliance with the rebel party leader and are camping in Guwahati.
The party has warned its MLAs that their absence from the meeting would lead to speculation that they want to leave the political party.
Therefore, action will be taken against them under the Anti-Defection Act.
What is the Anti-Defection Law?
The Tenth Schedule, popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act, was included in the Constitution via the 52nd Amendment Act, 1985.
It lays down provisions for disqualification of elected members on the ground of defection to any other political party.
The anti-defection law provides for the disqualification of legislators who, after being elected on a political party ticket, "voluntarily give up their party membership".
This law also applies to independent MLAs.
But this law does not apply when the number of legislators leaving a political party is two-thirds of the party's strength in the legislature.
These MLAs can merge with another party.
Rule of two thirds in Maharashtra
According to reports, 30 MLAs are with the rebel leader.
Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly, if the rebel MLAs want to merge, then two-thirds of the 55 i.e. 37 MLAs will have to go to another party together.
If this happens then there will be no constitutional action against those MLAs.
But if this does not happen, then action can be taken against these MLAs under the anti-defection law.
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