The battle for Shiv Sena’s control has moved from the streets to the drawing room, where the legal teams of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Sena rebel MLA leader Eknath Shinde are working to make a claim as the rightful owner of Maharashtra’s ruling party.
In the Sena’s first tangible move against Mr Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati and claims to have the support of nearly 40 Sena MLAs and 10 others, Maharashtra’s Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal has accepted Ajay Choudhari as the Sena’s Legislature Party leader by replacing Mr Shinde.
The Deputy Speaker rejected a suggestion by the Mr Shinde camp to appoint Bharat Gogawala as the Sena’s whip.
Pressing on his attack, Mr Thackeray has asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify Mr Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs, who are camping in a five-star hotel in BJP-ruled Assam.
After the Deputy Speaker issued notice to the rebel MLAs on the disqualification plea, two independents rose to defend the Mr Shinde camp by directly going for the Deputy Speaker – they moved a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker Mr Zirwal in a bid to stop the MLAs from being disqualified.