Why Vijay Rupani resigned as Gujarat CM and how it might help BJP

News Network
September 12, 2021

Strong resentment among BJP cadre at ground level against him was one of the main reasons for Vijay Rupani's removal as Gujarat Chief Minister, sources said.

Rupani on Saturday resigned from office. A section in the party believes that the decision to replace the chief minister might help the party beat anti-incumbency against the government among its own cadre.

While there is no clarity at what exactly led to Rupani's resignation, sources in the saffron party said that there were many reasons for his removal -- one of the primary reasons being strong resentment against him among party cadre.

"There was a strong resentment among cadre against Rupani. His popularity is low among BJP workers. The removal of Rupani will help the party control the dissent at ground well in advance ahead of next year's assembly polls. In other words we can say that the move might help the party beat anti-incumbency against the government and the chief minister among its own cadre," a BJP leader said.

It is learnt that while discussing the reasons for Rupani's removal, the party leadership decided keeping workers unhappy will adversely affect the party's electoral performance in the state polls, which is all set to become triangular with the entry of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Another leader pointed out that it is a political course correction ahead of assembly polls. "By bringing a new face, BJP will try to address the issue of social engineering in the state, which played a crucial role in state politics," he said.

A party insider claimed that Rupani lacks the quality of a firebrand leader and may not be able to take on Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is all set to contest state polls scheduled in November-December next year.

"He (Rupani) was good in executing the given works or assignments, but lacked the quality we needed in our chief ministerial candidate to take on Congress and AAP in assembly polls. Workers are demanding a leader who can lead the party from the front under guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah," he said.

Rupani took the state's Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and is representing Rajkot West in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. It is learnt from sources that the party will declare Rupani's replacement by Sunday. 

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News Network
June 24,2022

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Mumbai, June 24: With the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking cancellation of membership of several rebel MLAs, minister Eknath Shinde, who has spearheaded the revolt against the party, has claimed that the group led by him is the "real Shiv Sena", and also hit back saying he and his supporters will not be intimidated by the disqualification threats.

In a series of tweets posted late Thursday night, Shinde who is camping in Guwahati along with 37 Sena legislators and 10 independents, said as per the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, a party whip is issued for the legislature proceedings and not for attending a meeting.

The Shiv Sena led by Thackeray has sought the disqualification of 12 legislators from the Shinde camp for not attending the legislature party meeting on Wednesday.

"Eknath Shinde faction that's challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads," said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, adding that the rebel camp's numbers are only on the papers.

"Shiv Sena is a big ocean, such waves come and go," Raut said.

Responding to it, Shinde said in tweets, "There are several Supreme Court decisions in this regard. Who are you trying to frighten? We understand your games and law as well. You can't ask for action against 12 of our MLAs because we are loyal to Balasaheb Thackeray and are the real Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks. In fact, we demand action against you for forming a group despite having no numbers."

In the wake of his rebellion, Shinde was sacked as Shiv Sena's group leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The party appointed Ajay Chaudhary in his place.

However, the rebel faction passed a resolution retaining Shinde as their group leader and appointed Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip in place of Sunil Prabhu. Prabhu had sent letters to the rebels, asking them to attend the legislature party meeting on Wednesday evening in Mumbai or face action under the anti-defection law. 

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News Network
June 27,2022

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Mumbai, June 27: There was jubilation in the rebel Shiv Sena legislators' camp after the Supreme Court proceedings on Monday while hectic politicking started in the Bharatiya Janata Party and the mood turned sombre in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadig.

Rebel leader Minister Eknath Shinde tweeted, "This is the victory of Hindu HridaySamrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva and the ideology of Dharmveer Anand Dighe."

The faction - currently in a Guwahati hotel - erupted into joy and celebrations after the apex court ruling and also expressed gratitude to the Centre for providing security to the rebel MLAs and their families.

Shinde is reported to have initiated the process to finalise and send a letter to the Maharashtra Governor that they have withdrawn support to the MVA government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress.

On the Opposition side, the BJP's core committee meeting got under way with top leaders present to finalise their strategy to form the next government in the state, possibly with the help of the rebel group.

Shinde has claimed the support of 39 Sena MLAs, and 11 independents or other parties, totalling to 48, and the group is likely to extend its sojourn in Assam by a few more days.

Several leaders joining the meeting were seen beaming in anticipation and some flashed the 'V' sign, indicating an upbeat mood.

Hitting out again, MVA Minister Aditya Thackeray alleged that many of the MLAs were misled or abducted to join the rebel group and the party is ready to take them back.

"If the rebels had courage, they would have first resigned and faced the electorate instead of all this," said Thackeray Jr.

Sena chief spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said that "this a legal battle and will continue" and said the party will fight it out.

Court Relief For Rebel Sena MLAs

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday virtually kept the disqualification proceedings initiated against 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde in abeyance, by extending the time for them to file their response to the notice issued by the Deputy Speaker, till July 12.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala said the status quo needs to be maintained in the matter, in order to decide the competing claims. The 16 MLAs were given time to file their response by 5:30 pm Tuesday.

"We have to decide very competence of the Deputy Speaker if he is entitled to proceed with the matter. Today, we have to ensure that the matter does not become infructuous," the bench said.

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News Network
July 1,2022

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New Delhi, July 1: The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma for her abusive comments against the Prophet, saying her "loose tongue" has "set the entire country on fire" and asked her to immediately apologise to the nation for her remarks. 

Refusing to entertain Sharma's plea for clubbing of FIRs lodged in various states against her for the remark, the bench held that the comment was made either for cheap publicity, political agenda or some nefarious activities.

"She actually has a loose tongue and has made all kinds of irresponsible statements on TV and set the entire country on fire. Yet, she claims to be a lawyer of 10 years standing... She should have immediately apologised for her comments to the whole country," the court said.

Sharma's remark against the Prophet, made during a TV debate, triggered protests across the country and invited sharp reactions from many Gulf countries. The BJP subsequently suspended her from the party. 

"These remarks are very disturbing and smack of arrogance. What is her business to make such remarks? These remarks have led to unfortunate incidents in the country...These people are not religious. They do not have respect for other religions. These remarks were made for cheap publicity or political agenda or some other nefarious activities”, the bench said. 

While refusing to entertain Sharma's plea for clubbing of FIRs, a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala allowed her to withdraw the plea. 

"She has a threat or she has become a security threat? The way she has ignited emotions across the country… this lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country," the bench said when Sharma's lawyer Maninder Singh pointed out that she was facing threats to life. 

The bench further said," the way she ignited emotions across the country has led to unfortunate incidents. This lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country. We saw the debate". The court's observations against the suspended BJP leader come in the backdrop of the brutal murder of a tailor in Udaipur by two men, who had posted videos online, claiming that they were avenging an insult to Islam.

Senior advocate Singh, appearing for Sharma, said she had apologised for her remarks. The bench said,"her apology came too late and that too conditionally saying if religious sentiments are hurt and so on. She should have been on TV immediately and apologised to the nation". The court said her petition smacks of arrogance and that she thinks that the magistrate of the country is too small for her. Singh said Sharma was a spokesperson of a political party and her unintentional comments were in relation to a debate.  

"If you are a spokesperson of a party, it is not a license to say things like this", the bench said, adding, "if there was a misuse of the debate, the first thing she should have done was to file an FIR against the anchor". Singh said she had reacted to the debate initiated by other debators and pointed to the transcript of the debate. The bench said, "what was the TV debate for? Was it to fan an agenda and why did they choose a sub-judice topic?" Referring to various apex court verdicts, Singh said there cannot be a second FIR on the same cause of action. 

Justice Kant said she has remedy before the high court and can very well approach it, if there is a second FIR. Singh then referred to the Arnab Goswami case, and said the law has been laid down by the apex court. The bench said,"the case of a journalist expressing his right on a particular issue is on a different pedestal from a spokesperson of a political party who is lambasting others with irresponsible statements without thinking of the consequences". 

Singh said she has joined the investigation being conducted by the Delhi Police and not running away. The bench said, "What has happened in the investigation so far? What has Delhi Police done so far? Don’t make us open our mouths? They must have put a red carpet for you."After the hearing for nearly 30 minutes, the bench said it is not convinced with her bonafide and refused to entertain the petition.

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