Disqualification plea hearing: Narvekar begins cross examination of Sunil Prabhu | Mumbai News


Speaker Rahul Narwekar Tuesday began the cross examination of Sena MLAs during the hearing of disqualification petitions of MLAs from both the Sena factions.

On Tuesday, the lawyer representing the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena cross examined the Sena (UBT) MLA and party’s chief whip in legislative Assembly Sunil Prabhu and his statement was recorded.

During the cross examination, Shinde-led Sena’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalaani questioned Prabhu whether the undivided Sena was in alliance with the BJP while contested Assembly elections in 2019 and whether the party used the photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on its posters during the polls.

While Prabhu responded positively about the alliance with the BJP, he, however, said that he does not not remember if pictures of Modi and Shah were used and said that there were surely the photos of Sena founder Bal Thackeray and undivided Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on the posters.

During the cross examination, Prabhu asserted that the Sena MLAs who went to Surat and then Guwahati in June 2022 along with CM Shinde were under pressure by the BJP and there was a discussion that the MLAs were abducted.

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The cross examination will continue for the next three days.

Prabhu had demanded that his statement be recorded in Marathi and that Prabhu also sought an official translator who could record his statement after alleging that it was not being done correctly.

After the hearing, Sena UBT MLC Anil Parab alleged that there is a possibility that the Shinde faction may delay the decision.

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“Our MLA Prabhu was cross examined today. It would continue tomorrow. We felt that many questions were not needed and there was a delaying tactic. They have to give judgment by December 31. There is a possibility that they could seek further time and we don’t want to give that,” Parab added.

Setting the timeline, the Supreme Court last month directed Narwekar to adjudicate disqualification petitions of rebel Sena MLAs by December 31.

The apex court had come down heavily on Narvekar who is conducting the hearing in the disqualification case over the delay in adjudication of the petition against Shinde led Sena MLAs, saying the Speaker cannot defeat the orders of the top court.


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