The Shiv Sena has filed a disqualification petition against 16 rebel MLAs with the State Assembly Deputy Speaker, while rebel party leader Eknath Shinde is gearing up to approach the court against the party’s decisions.
The Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal can issue notice to these MLAs and ask them to clarify their stand. Meanwhile, Zirwal has accepted the Shiv Sena’s demand to appoint MLA Ajay Chaudhary as the party’s leader in the State legislature in place of rebel leader Eknath Shinde.
Speaking to the media Shinde said his group would take legal steps against Shiv Sena’s move, while two independent MLAs, who are BJP supporters, have objected to Zirwal’s approval to the appointment of Chaudhary as the Sena’s leader in the State legislature.
Retain the will to fight, says CM
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday held a meeting of district heads of the party and said while he has left Varsha, the official residence of the Chief Minister, the “will to fight” has not deserted him.
“The people who used to say that they would rather die than leave the Shiv Sena, have fled today. The rebel MLAs want to break the party. I had never thought in my dreams that I would become the Chief Minister. I have left Varsha Bungalow, but not the will to fight,” he added.
Thackeray said, “I did everything for Eknath Shinde. I gave him the department which I held. His own son is an MP. But my son is being targeted. If they have the courage, they should go among people without using the names Balasaheb and Shiv Sena,” he added.
BJP’s wait and watch
Senior BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, have kept mum on the developments. Fadnavis, who was in New Delhi to meet Home Minister Amit Shah, is back in Mumbai. He held rounds of meetings with party leaders. BJP State President Chandrakant Patil said the ongoing political crisis is an internal matter of the Shiv Sena and the BJP has nothing to do with it.