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“Many Team Thackeray MLAs in Touch, Want To Join Us”: Sena Leader



Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction expects all party leaders to follow their call to attend the assembly section amid a feud with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena group.

After the Election Commission gave the Shiv Sena name and the bow-and-arrow party symbol to the faction led by Mr Shinde, who revolted against Mr Thackeray and ejected him out of the Chief Minister’s post last year, the Shiv Sena has been claiming to represent all party leaders irrespective of their factional loyalty.

“There is only one Shiv Sena. We have the party name and symbol. Everyone will have to be with us and follow what we say. If they don’t, we will see what needs to be done with them two weeks later,” said Bharat Gogawale, Shiv Sena’s chief whip in the Maharashtra assembly.

The Shiv Sena yesterday assured the Supreme Court the party will not take action against any leader who goes against the chief whip’s orders for at least two weeks.

Mr Gogawale said the Shiv Sena will also replace their chief whip in the Lok Sabha and Mr Shinde will announce the name soon.

“We won’t take action against anyone right now. Our whip only says everyone should attend the assembly session,” he told NDTV.

Mr Gogawale said many MLAs from the Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray, are “ready to join us”.

“They will come to us. We are in a wait-and-watch situation… This is the reason why Aaditya Thackeray has been claiming every day that the government will fall today, tomorrow, day after tomorrow. But the reality is we have been running the government for seven months now. Even Sharad Pawar has told Uddhav Thackeray that our government will not collapse. Everyone will come and join us,” Mr Gogawale said.

Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray had said the people of Maharashtra know how Mr Shinde has been running an “unconstitutional” government, which “will not last for many days.”

Sharad Pawar heads the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of Team Uddhav Thackeray.

Uddhav Thackeray and other key leaders of his Sena faction have been meeting local Sena leaders and workers across the state to cement their loyalty. Mr Thackeray’s charge is Mr Shinde is only a leader of the group of MLAs who participated in the rebellion last year, but is not someone backed by the people of Maharashtra.

The Supreme Court is looking into a request by Mr Thackeray that wants Mr Shinde’s takeover to be ruled as illegal. The matter is scheduled to be heard today in the Supreme Court after an inconclusive proceeding yesterday.

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