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Tough Battle Ahead For Both Uddhav Thackeray And Eknath Shinde

The Supreme Court’s decision to post the next hearing to 1 August concerning various petitions in regard to recent political developments in Maharashtra has shifted the focus to lawyers’ chambers from the floor of the legislative assembly. The apex court’s fiat has mounted a formidable legal challenge for both, Shiv Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray and state chief minister Eknath Shinde. As the court has asked them to furnish their claims supported by data, both sides are readying their defences. While the Sena’s legal team is led by Kapil Sibbal, eminent jurist Harish Salve is appearing for the Shinde faction. Although Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadanvis are maintaining a brave face, it is obvious that they will not take any hasty steps concerning major decisions. Fadanvis has clarified that there is no bar on expanding the two-member state cabinet. However, he and Shinde will be treading cautiously, lest they will need to repent later. The Shinde camp is jubilant as it has dealt one shock after another to Uddhav. The fact that so far 12 Sena Lok Sabha members have switched sides and a couple more are expected to join the bandwagon has boosted its morale. It will get a further fillip if NDA Presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu bags around 200 votes from the state, as predicted by Shinde.