Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar while reacting to the disqualification pleas verdict said that the judgement was `not at all surprising`, reported the PTI.

According to the PTI, Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar`s verdict in the Shiv Sena MLAs disqualification case, which went in favour of the faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, was “not at all surprising”, but it should be challenged in the Supreme Court by the rival group led by Uddhav Thackeray, NCP founder Sharad Pawar said.

In a huge relief to CM Shinde, Rahul Narwekar, pronouncing his verdict in the case on Wednesday, held that the Shiv Sena faction led by him was the “real political party” when rival groups emerged in June 2022.

Uddhav Thackeray, who stepped down as chief minister in June 2022 following a split in the Shiv Sena, heads the other faction of the party.

Reacting to the much-awaited verdict, Pawar said looking at the speaker`s ruling, the Thackeray-led Sena faction will have to approach the Supreme Court.

Speaking to reporters here, the former Union minister, an ally of Shiv Sena (UBT) president Thackeray, said the verdict was “not at all surprising.”

It was the collective opinion of all (Maha Vikas Aghadi constituents) that the verdict would not be pro-Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, the Rajya Sabha MP said.

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi consists of the Shiv Sena (UBT), the Congress and the NCP (Sharad Pawar group).

“The people in the government, including Chief Minister Shinde, had on several instances spoken on what sort of decision would be coming and it shows they had an inkling about the verdict (going in their favour) and that assurance used to get reflected in their statements,” said Pawar.

Uddhav Thackeray will have to go to the SC as looking at the wording of the judgement, there is enough scope to believe his faction will get justice in the top court, the veteran politician said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar on Wednesday held that the Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena was the “real political party” when rival groups emerged on June 21, 2022.

Reading out his ruling on disqualification petitions filed by Shinde-led Sena and the rival faction led by Uddhav Thackeray against each other`s MLAs, Narwekar also said that Sunil Prabhu of the Sena (UBT) ceased to be the whip from June 21, 2022, and Bharat Gogawale of the Shinde group became the authorised whip.

As the tenor of the ruling became clear, celebrations broke out among followers of Chief Minister Shinde`s faction.

(with PTI inputs)

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