Shiv Sena parliamentary party stares at split, Shinde announces new 'national executive'

CM Eknath Shinde is engineering the rebellion in the Shiv Sena ranks and files
Last Updated : 19 July 2022, 04:23 IST

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The split within the 56-year-old Shiv Sena is widening and for party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the going is getting tough.

After the Shiv Sena legislature party in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly was split following a chain of dramatic events in Surat, Guwahati and Mumbai, a sequel may be unfolding in New Delhi with rebels giving final touches to a separate group of the Shiv Sena parliamentary party in Lok Sabha.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is engineering the rebellion in the Shiv Sena ranks and files, Monday announced the new national executive. He will be in New Delhi on Tuesday. Shinde is the “chief leader” of the new national executive.

Before heading for the national capital, Shinde chaired a virtual meeting of MPs, attended by 12 of the 22 MPs. The Shiv Sena has 19 Lok Sabha MPs — 18 from Maharashtra and one from Dadra & Nagar Haveli — and three representatives in Rajya Sabha.

RS MPs Sanjay Raut, Anil Desai and Priyanka Chaturvedi are with the parent party. But the split among the LS is wide with majority of them siding with Shinde.

However it is not yet known whether the new group would be formalised on Tuesday or after Wednesday's Supreme Court hearing, when the apex court’s constitutional bench hears the plea of disqualification of Shinde and other MLAs.

Deepak Kesarkar has been appointed as a spokesperson for the Shinde group while Ramdas Kadam and Anandrao Adsul have been appointed as “leaders”. Yashwant Jadhav, Gulabrao Patil, Uday Samant, Sharad Ponkshe, Tanaji Sawant, Vijay Nahata and Shivajirao Adharao Patil have been appointed as “deputy leaders”.

In New Delhi, Uddhav's loyalist MPs met in Raut’s residence where RS MPs Chaturvedi and Desai were present. LS MPs Vinayak Raut, Arvind Sawant and Omraje Nimbalkar were also in attendance. Senior leader Gajanan Kirtikar was absent on account of ill health.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Shiv Sena Parliamentary party leaderRaut said, “The government itself is illegal. The Supreme Court hearing is pending. We have initiated legal proceedings of disqualification against 16 MLAs. If the same thing happens in Lok Sabha, they would face the same thing yet again.”

Asked about the national executive, he said, “Shiv Sena is where Thackeray is. The national executive is a sham. The party is formed by late Balasaheb Thackeray, now Uddhav Thackeray is the paksha-pramukh. You have gone out and formed a party and you declare your own national executive. It is totally illegal and people are laughing,” he said.

Raut also reiterated that the proverbial Sword of Damocles hangs over the “ek duje ke liye” government of Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis.

According to reports, Shinde would meet the MPs and then Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

When pointed out that Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale may be appointed group leader and Bhavana Gawali the group leader, Raut said: “All this is illegal.”

Asked about the impending split, Shinde-camp spokesperson Kesarkar said, "All the MPs are with Shiv Sena. We are taking the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray ahead."

Published 18 July 2022, 16:05 IST

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