Amid the ongoing battle over the control of Shiv Sena, party president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday removed Eknath Shinde from the post of ‘Shiv Sena leader’ for “indulging in anti-party activities”.
In a letter to Shinde, who was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister a day earlier, Thackeray said that Shinde has also “voluntarily” given up the membership of the party, therefore “in the exercise of powers vested in me as Shiv Sena party president, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organization.”
The letter is dated June 30, the day Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister with the support of the BJP after he and the majority of Sena MLAs rebelled against Thackeray.
Thackeray stepped down as Chief Minister on June 29.
On the other hand, a section of Shiv Sena MPs have asked Thackeray to patch up with Shinde amid claims by BJP that several Lok Sabha MPs of the Shiv Sena were in touch with them. A central BJP minister claimed that the split in the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra will also have an impact in the Lok Sabha as at least a dozen Lok Sabha members of the party, out of the total 19, were ready to switch sides.
A meeting of Shiv Sena MPs, convened by Thackeray in Mumbai on Friday, saw suggestions being made even by a party veteran to mend fences with the rebel leaders in the long-term interests of the party, Sena sources told news agency PTI. The former chief minister’s response to this was not immediately known.
Shiv Sena has 19 members in the Lok Sabha and three members in the Rajya Sabha.
A section of the Lok Sabha MPs was in a difficult situation as several MLAs in their constituencies had sided with Shinde and were apprehensive of financial support for development projects under the new dispensation.
(with inputs from PTI)
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