Updated: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 04:26 PM IST
Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday removed state minister and party leader Eknath Shinde as its legislative party leader and announced that Sewri MLA Ajay Chaudhary will be the new legislative party leader of the Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra Assembly.
The decision came after Eknath Shinde along with some Shiv Sena MLAs went incommunicado, a day after the ruling Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA-comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress) suffered a setback in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.
However, dismissing the speculations of fissures in the party, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asserted that the Sena is a party of loyalists and attempts by the BJP, like in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to topple the MVA government would not succeed. He also said Shinde was a trusted Shiv Sainik, and that the 'missing' MLAs will be back after the party is able to reach out the them.
According to sources, Shinde along with some Sena MLAs was camping at a hotel in Gujarat's Surat city. "Once we reach out to the missing MLAs, they will be back. Shinde is a trusted Shiv Sainik. The Shiv Sena is a party of loyalists and not those who fall to the lust of power and positions," Raut said.
Raut said if Shinde has any misunderstanding with the chief minister, it can be cleared "I have spoken to (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar and other leaders of the MVA," Raut said.
The opposition BJP on Monday won all five seats it contested in the state Legislative Council elections for 10 seats, while Congress candidate and Dalit leader Chandrakant Handore lost, in another setback for the MVA after the Rajya Sabha polls earlier this month. Two candidates each of the Shiv Sena and NCP won, while the Congress managed to bag just one seat.
In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs, NCP (53), Congress (44), Bahujan Vikas Agahdi (three), Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party two each. MNS, CPI-M, PWP, Swabhimani Paksha, Rashtriya Samaj Party, Jansurajya Shakti Party and Krantikari Shetkari Paksha have one MLA each.
(With Agency Inputs)