Updated: Tue, 19 Jul 2022 09:43 AM IST
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday suffered another setback after the rebel faction led by Eknath Shinde appointed a new national executive with the Maharashtra Chief Minister as its chief leader. This move comes two days before the Supreme Court hears Thackeray's pleas amid an internal rift in the Sena.
However, the trouble might not end for Thackeray as 12 of Sena's 18 MPs are expected to switch sides to the Shinde camp. The MPs, as per multiple media reports, are in New Delhi where they might meet Shinde and announce their next move.
The MPs might also meet Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday and submit a formal letter to him to recognise them as a separate group. According to a report by The Times of India, the Shinde faction may also move the Election Commission of India (ECI) claiming it to be the 'Real Shiv Sena'.
However, to counter this, Shiv Sena leader Vinayak Raut has written a letter to Birla, asserting that he was the "duly appointed" leader of the party's Parliamentary board.
"You are therefore called upon not to acknowledge or entertain representation made by any other MP(s) or acknowledge or entertain any direction/whip issued by anybody else, falsely claiming to be the leader or the chief whip of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party," Raut was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The party has also warned of action against those MPs who will meet Shinde, who revolt against Thackeray led to the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which also consisted Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
"Jahan Thackeray wahan Shiv Sena (Shiv Sena is where Thackeray is). How can you claim 14 MPs, when six-seven of us are here," Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said. "Whatever is going on could at best be termed as Comedy Express Season 2. Shiv Sena is a recognised political party. The breakaway faction does not have any right to dissolve the national executive."