The national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena on Saturday passed six resolutions giving absolute right to Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within the party under control.
The national executive barred any individual or group from using the name of the party’s founder, the late Bal Thackeray, after reports that the rebel MLAs would name their group as Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray).
The office of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal on Saturday confirmed issue of disqualification notice to 16 rebel MLAs, seeking a reply within 48 hours. But the Shinde group tried to move a no-confidence motion against Mr. Zirwal, though the Assembly is not in session. It was rejected as the notice was from an unknown e-mail id.
The rebels remained firm, saying they wanted to stay with the Sena, but the party should ally with the BJP and not the Congress or the Nationalist Congress Party.
At a virtual press conference from Guwahati as a representative of the rebel group, Deepak Kesarkar, MLA, said, “We have a majority with us and, as per the rule, we can sit as a separate group in the Assembly. We will not merge with any other party. We have not left the Shiv Sena, but we are the Shiv Sena. The decision of ours is because the Congress and the NCP were weakening the party in Maharashtra.”
In Guwahati, asked if the MLAs had spoken to Mr. Thackeray on the demand to ally with the BJP, Mr. Kesarkar said, “In our opinion, the Shiv Sena should form the government with the BJP. When the CM and PM have identical vision of development, it helps the State to prosper and grow.”
Mr. Kesarkar said that the act of the Deputy Speaker was unconstitutional. “Democracy is about numbers and we have a majority with us. We will be challenging the Deputy Speaker’s decision in court and I am sure we will get justice there,” he said, adding that responses would be sent to the notices issued.
Asked about the reasons behind the rebel MLAs’ prolonged stay in Guwahati and their decision to not return to Maharashtra, Mr. Kesarkar said that it was not safe to return. “Law and order in the State is getting problematic. A number of offices of our MLAs have been attacked. It is extremely sad to see that the State government is not taking action against this, especially against the man who is instigating the mob,” he said.
Earlier, the Shiv Sena’s national executive passed six resolutions in a bid to strengthen Mr. Thackeray’s control over the organisation as the revolt has threatened to dethrone him from the position as the party’s head.
The party executive, however, did not remove Mr. Shinde from the ‘leader’ position within the organisation and all rights have been given to Mr. Thackeray to decide on the same. It has written a letter to the Election Commission informing it that the party organisation supports Mr. Thackeray as president.
“The Shiv Sena has remained loyal to the ideology of Hindutva and will remain so in future. It never betrayed Maharashtra’s sovereignty and the pride of the Marathi-speaking population and will never do so. Irrespective of the stature, those who betray the Shiv Sena will face action and this executive gives absolute right to Uddhav saheb Thackeray to do so. The executive will stand with him,” said the resolution. It was proposed by Sena leader Sanjay Raut and seconded by Lok Sabha members Rahul Shewale and Vinayak Raut and party leader Adesh Bandekar.
In another resolution, presented by Ajay Chaudhary, MLA, the party condemned the betrayal of the rebel MLAs, stating that party organisation stands firmly with Mr. Thackeray. “Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has absolute rights to take decisions and implement them to bring present situation under control,” it said.
Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray will take part in a public outreach campaign starting from south Mumbai where he will be addressing party workers to build confidence in the party.