Tale of 2 whips of 2 Sena factions, both accuse each other of disobeying them
To stake claim on the Shiv Sena, two factions of the party — one led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the other by party president Uddhav Thackeray — who had issued separate whips for the Speaker’s election, went on to accuse each other of not obeying their respective whips on Sunday.
While Shiv Sena MLAs’ (Thackeray faction) group leader Ajay Choudhari had issued a whip on Saturday to all MLAs asking them to vote for their Assembly Speaker candidate Rajan Salvi, the Shinde faction’s chief whip, Bharat Gogawale, had issued a whip to the MLAs to vote in favour of BJP’s Rahul Narvekar.
Late Sunday, Narvekar went on to reject the appointment of Choudhari as the Shiv Sena MLA group leader in the House. He also removed MLA Sunil Prabhu of the Thackeray camp as the chief whip of Sena.
Earlier in the day, after the conclusion of the Speaker’s election in the House on Sunday, Choudhari immediately submitted a letter to the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Narhari Zirwal, claiming that 39 rebel Sena MLAs from the Shinde faction have disobeyed the party whip and voted in favour of Narvekar.
Later, the Thackeray faction also submitted a fresh petition to Narvekar, seeking the disqualification of the 39 MLAs. “We have submitted a fresh petition seeking action against 39 MLAs,” Sena MP Arvind Sawant said.
Countering the same, the rebel group’s chief whip, Gogawale, submitted a letter to Narvekar, claiming that the 16 Sena MLAs from the Thackeray faction have disobeyed the whip issued by the Shinde faction, which has the majority numbers on its side.
While reading out the letter in the Assembly, Narvekar also mentioned the Shinde faction as the Shiv Sena.
With this, the stage is set for a legal and constitutional battle between the two factions in the coming days.
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