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Shiv Sena leadership to meet on June 25; 16 rebel MLAs to be given notice

Police personnel deployed outside the Shiv Sena Bhavan at Dadar in Mumbai on June 24, 2022.

Police personnel deployed outside the Shiv Sena Bhavan at Dadar in Mumbai on June 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

As Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray struggles to retain control of his government and the party, a national executive meeting of the Sena will be held on Saturday which is likely to pass a resolution reposing faith on the leadership of Thackeray.

The rebellion against the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Sena MLA Eknath Shinde threatens to capture not only the government but also the party and the Thackerays are now fighting on two fronts.

According to Friday night developments, following a marathon meeting of Sena leaders held in the office of the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly along with legal experts, a decision has been taken to give 48 hours notice to 16 rebel MLAs. The notice will ask them to appear in person in a matter of a petition filed by the Sena seeking their disqualification.

The Shinde group has already decided to approach the court if any such notices are issued.

The number of rebel MLAs stationed in Guwahati however continued to grow on Friday as the Shinde group claimed the support of 50 MLAs, including those of the Sena and Independents.

On Friday evening, Mr. Thackeray held a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and a party delegation to discuss the possible strategy to save the government. Both allies, the NCP and the Congress, have extended absolute support to Mr. Thackeray. But the meeting of NCP leaders with the CM is said to have debated options to save the government and also the possibility of a resignation from the top post.

Earlier in the day, addressing party office bearers, Mr. Thackeray dared the rebel MLAs to survive politically without using the photograph of Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray, and the party’s name. Resolving to fight, Mr. Uddhav Thackeray told the party workers that he has no greed for power, but had not lost the determination to fight.

According to sources from the rebel camp, Mr. Shinde is now aiming to take over the entire party within the legislature, but his efforts faced a hurdle after Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal approved Ajay Chaudhary as the Sena’s legislative party leader replacing Mr. Shinde.

Guwahati meeting

The Shinde group held a meeting in the Guwahati hotel where they are stationed and decided to move a no-confidence motion against Mr. Zirwal, following which two BJP-backed Independent MLAs wrote to Mr. Zirwal claiming he has no authority to disqualify any MLA.

Editorial | Tiger by the tail: On the rebellion in the Shiv Sena

On Thursday, the Sena had moved a petition to disqualify 12 MLAs. A day later, it added four more names to the list. By late Friday, the State’s Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni reached the legislative building to discuss the possible scenario. With a legal battle between the two groups in sight, the ongoing crisis is likely to be extended.

Eschewing conciliatory offers made earlier to the rebel Shiv Sena MLA faction led by Minister Eknath Shinde, the Sena on Friday took a hard line against their “perfidy” with MP Sanjay Raut stating that the party’s doors were henceforth closed for the rebels. He stressed that the MVA government stood firm and would complete its remaining tenure of two-and-a-half years.

“They [rebel Sena MLAs] have taken a very wrong step. We will win on the floor of the House. Should this battle be fought on the streets, then we will win that too. Those who want to challenge us, can return to Mumbai. We had given them a chance to turn back, but now I think that time has elapsed,” said Mr. Raut.

Civic work

Mr. Thackeray on Friday also held a meeting with Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners, Municipal Commissioners and District Collectors asking them to concentrate on ongoing work and not to worry about unpredictable politics. “Politics and monsoon are unpredictable. Political games will continue but that shouldn’t affect the governance. You should continue with pro-people works avoiding any hardships to them,” he told the bureaucrats.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 6:08:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shiv-sena-leadership-to-meet-on-june-25-rebels-claim-support-of-50-mlas/article65561809.ece