MUMBAI: In a fresh and major setback for Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, CM Eknath Shinde’s faction on Monday appointed a national executive-purportedly the party’s new top decision-making body-anointing Shinde as a chief leader, a newly-created post, and naming leaders and deputy leaders. The post of Sena president held by Uddhav was left untouched.
The Shinde faction claimed that the old executive, which included other leaders like Aaditya Thackeray, Sanjay Raut and Subhash Desai—and whose names were dropped by the Shinde group—dissolved.
A leader of the Shinde faction said the group may approach the Election Commission on Tuesday with resolutions passed by the “new national executive” to claim that it is the real Shiv Sena.
Shinde is Shiv Sena’s chief leader and can appoint nat’l exec members: Kesarkar
The new national executive of the Shiv Sena, formed by CM Eknath Shinde’s faction on Monday, appointed rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar as party spokesperson, former minister Ramdas Kadam (who quit as a leader and was expelled from the party by the Uddhav camp on Monday) and ex-MP Anandrao Adsul as leaders, and ex-BMC corporator Yashwant Jadhav, ex-ministers Gulabrao Patil and Uday Samant, and Sharad Ponkshe, MLA Tanaji Sawant, Vijay Nahata and ex-MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil as deputy leaders.
All the new appointees are Sena rebels who joined the Shinde faction and have been sacked by the Uddhav-led Sena. The Shinde faction’s national executive, purportedly the party’s new top decision-making body, met at a hotel in south Mumbai on Monday afternoon. Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed there was “no legal validity” to the national executive formed by Shinde. “They just played out ‘Comedy Express’ Season 2. Season 1 was played out in Mumbai in the state legislature. The people are laughing. This is Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, and the party president is Uddhav Thackeray. It is a recognised political party. They may have several MLAs and MPs, but how can they claim they are the Shiv Sena? They are a rebel faction. The sword of disqualification is hanging over the CM’s head,” Raut said.
According to Shiv Sena leaders, the national executive is headed by the party president. “After this, there are leaders, who are second in the party. There are around 8-10 leaders in Shiv Sena. Next in line in the hierarchy is the deputy leader. It is the main body of the Shiv Sena which has all the powers to take decisions as per the party’s constitution,” said a Shiv Sena functionary. Uddhav’s son Aditya was made the Sena leader in 2018 when the Shiv Sena’s national executive appointed new leaders, deputy leaders, secretaries and spokespersons in a major reshuffle. The latest reshuffle took place earlier this month after the party started sacking rebel leaders from their posts. CM Shinde was sacked as the leader earlier this month.
Kesarkar said that CM Shinde is the main leader of the party and he has all the rights to appoint members to the national executive. Kesarkar said, “Shinde respects every party worker.”
Shiv Sena MP from Uddhav camp Vinayak Raut said that the party is not taking the Shinde camp seriously. “Uddhavji was expecting such an effort. These people are anti-nationals, and they have no right to make such appointments.” Sanjay Raut said the new executive committee is “just a sham to mislead the people.”
“It all stands on a pile of lies. A rebel group cannot dissolve the national executive of a recognized party and appoint a new national executive.
SC is going to hear the matter on July 20, and they (rebels) don’t know whether they will be MLAs or not. All this is being done to protect their skin as the rebel MLAs are worried that they will lose their MLA posts. CM Shinde took oath illegally in an unconstitutional manner. Raut asked why the CM was travelling to Delhi. “This legal battle will continue. They have not been able to expand the cabinet for 16 days due to the fear of the Supreme Court. Where there is Thackeray, there is Shiv Sena.