Ahead of SC hearing, Eknath Shinde forms parallel Shiv Sena, becomes its leader

‘Rebel’ leader appoints loyalists as party’s office-bearers and interestingly retains ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray as one of them

Published: 19th July 2022 02:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2022 09:25 AM   |  A+A-

Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (Photo | PTI)

Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI:  Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing due July 20, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde constituted a parallel Shiv Sena, making himself as leader of the new party and his loyalists as office-bearers.

In the new officer-bearers’ list, Shinde did not exclude the president of Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray while appointing himself as the party leader.

The reason why Shinde has not removed Uddhav from the top party post is that as per the party constitution, no one has the right to remove the president.

“The president remains but a new party body has been formed,” Shinde added.

The new CM has appointed Deepak Kesarkar as the spokesperson of his faction. On the other hand, Uddhav Thackeray expelled Ramdas Kadam and Anadrao Adsule from the party for “anti-party” activities.

After a vertical split in the Shiv Sena legislative wing, Shinde has also poached 12 Sena Lok Sabha MPs. They are now likely to form a new group after their recognition as a separate group in the Lok Sabha.

The dozen Sena MPs are also due to meet PM Modi and other BJP leaders on Tuesday. The rest of the six Lok Sabha MPs of the party are with Uddhav Thackeray.

Shinde will be arriving in Delhi on July 19 to meet BJP leaders. He will get legal advice on the plea seeking disqualification of Sena MLAs, which will come up before a Supreme Court bench on July 20.

The Shinde faction has decided to appoint party Lok Sabha MP Rahul Shewale as leader of Sena MPs in the House. Bhavna Gawali will be the chief whip.

In the new officer-bearer list, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has appointed deputy leaders — Yashwant Jadhav, Gulabrao Patil, Uday Samant, Sharad Ponkshe, Tanaji Sawant, Vijay Nahata, and Shivaji Adalrao Patil.

The source said that Shinde can now tell the Supreme Court about the vertical split in the party, therefore the new group should be given a separate identity.

A Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member claimed that at least 12 of the 18 Shiv Sena members will meet Birla to submit a formal letter to recognise it as a separate group.

In a pre-emptive move, Vinayak Raut, the leader of the Shiv Sena, wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker asserting that he was the “duly appointed” leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party and urged him not to entertain any representation from the breakaway faction.

“You are therefore called upon not to acknowledge or entertain representation made by any other MP(s) or acknowledge or entertain any direction/whip issued by anybody else, falsely claiming to be the leader or the chief whip of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party,” Raut said, adding that Rajan Vichare was the chief whip of the party.

A group of Shiv Sena MPs on Monday attended a virtual meeting of the “national executive” chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

The national executive called by the rebel group ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on July 20, also appointed Shinde as the “chief leader” of the party, a Lok Sabha member said.

At least 12 Lok Sabha members, out of the total 18, are approaching the Speaker on Tuesday with a plea to recognise them as a separate group.

“"We are not splitting the party. We are only asking the Speaker that we do not have faith in the current leader and Rahul Shewale," Lok Sabha member from Mumbai South Central, is our leader,” another rebel Lok Sabha member said.

Kalaben Delkar, Lok Sabha member from Dadra & Nagar Haveli, has pledged her allegiance to the Shiv Sena, but had not contested the election on the party symbol.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Shinde will be in Delhi on Tuesday and the breakaway faction of Lok Sabha members are expected to meet him.

"“We will take action against MPs who attend the meeting with Shinde,” Sanjay Raut," Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member, told reporters in Delhi.

Shinde, who had led a rebellion within the Shiv Sena ranks, was sworn-in as chief minister on June 30 with the support of the BJP.

He has the support of 40 of Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly and Speaker Rahul Narwekar has recognised the faction as the Legislature Party.

As speculation about 14 Shiv Sena Lok Sabha members forming a separate group swirled, party MPs gathered at the residence of Sanjay Raut.

Among those present were Lok Sabha members Arvind Sawant, Vinayak Raut, Omraje Nimbalkar, Sanjay Jadhav, Rajan Vichare and Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi.

Raut said Lok Sabha member Gajanan Kirtikar was unwell and was firmly with Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.

“Jahan Thackeray wahan Shiv Sena (Shiv Sena is where Thackeray is).

How can you claim 14 MPs, when six-seven of us are here,“ Raut said, pointing at Lok Sabha members present at the press conference.

Raut also dismissed reports about the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena dissolving the national executive of the party.

“Whatever is going on could at best be termed as Comedy Express Season 2.

"Shiv Sena is a recognised political party. The breakaway faction does not have any right to dissolve the national executive,”" Raut said.

He said the Shinde faction has made a laughing stock of itself with its antics.

A Supreme Court bench constituted by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana will decide the fate of the breakaway faction led by Shinde, Raut said.

A rebel MP claimed that Shiv Sena leaders Anandrao Adsul and Ramdas Kadam, who quit their posts, have been “reinstated” as leaders by the rebel faction.

Former MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, and former ministers Gulabrao Patil and Uday Samant have been appointed as deputy leaders of the Shiv Sena, the MP claimed.

The Shiv Sena has sought disqualification of some rebel MLAs and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

The apex court is scheduled to hear on July 20 a batch of pleas pertaining to the recent happenings in Maharashtra that led to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Uddhav loyalist kadam also bids bye

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray got another setback on Monday as his close aide, firebrand leader and former minister Ramdas Kadam resigned from Shiv Sena leader’s post.

In his resignation letter to Thackeray, Kadam, who was sulking for quite some time, said that Shiv Sena under the leadership of Uddhav has compromised the Hindutva agenda of Balasaheb Thackeray by allying with Congress and NCP in 2019.

Interestingly, Kadam’s son Yogesh Kadam who was elected from Khed in Konkan has already left Thackeray’s Sena and joined Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde's camp. 

(With PTI Inputs)


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