Maharashtra: Speaker removes Ajay Chaudhary as Shiv Sena legislature party leader, reinstates Eknath Shinde
In a jolt to Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the Eknath Shinde-led government’s floor test, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar has reinstated Shinde as Shiv Sena legislature party leader, removing Ajay Chaudhary.
Narvekar also recognised the appointment of Bharat Gogawale from the Shinde camp as the chief whip of the Sena, removing Sunil Prabhu, who belongs to the Thackeray faction.
The trust vote will be held in the Assembly on Monday, the last day of the special two-day session of the House.
In a statement late Sunday night, Narwekar said the Maharashtra Legislature secretariat had received a letter from the Shinde-led group on June 22 objecting to his removal by Thackeray as the group leader of the Shiv Sena legislature party.
After discussing the legalities of the matter, the Speaker has rejected the appointment of Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary as the group leader of the legislative unit of the party, a letter by Narwekar said.
The development comes as a major setback to the Thackeray faction comprising 16 MLAs who will be bound by the whip to be issued by Gogawale for the trust vote.
If these 16 MLAs refuse to follow the whip, they face disqualification.
Reacting to the development, Shiv Sena chief MP Arvind Sawant said his party will challenge this “unconstitutional” decision in court.
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