Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta
Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 17:53 IST
Eknath Shinde (R) and Uddhav Thackeray. (Image: News18 creative using PTI photos)
On the first day of the budget session, Eknath Shinde wrote to the deputy speaker of the legislative council, Neelam Gorhe, to appoint Viplav Bajoria as the party whip with the intention to get control over the other 10 MLCs of Shiv Sena, including Uddhav Thackeray. To counter that, Uddhav also wrote a letter to Gorhe, requesting to appoint Vilas Potnis as the whip
In its first budget session, the Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra was expected to face heat from the opposition on various issues like law and order, farmers’ problems, etc. But the first week has once again gone by in a tussle between the Shiv Sena now controlled by Shinde and its erstwhile chief Uddhav Thackeray’s camp.
After getting hold of the party name and symbol, Maharashtra chief minister Shinde now wants to control the Shiv Sena in both houses of the Maharashtra legislature. While he has greater numbers in the lower house, he is fighting to get control of the party in the upper house where Uddhav has more legislators with him and Shinde has just one MLC.
On the first day of the budget session, the CM wrote to the deputy speaker of the legislative council, Neelam Gorhe, to appoint Viplav Bajoria as the party whip with the intention to get control over the other 10 MLCs of Shiv Sena, including Uddhav Thackeray. To counter that, Uddhav also wrote a letter to Gorhe, requesting to appoint Vilas Potnis as the whip. The deputy speaker has said that no decision has been taken on this matter.
After the Election Commission gave the Shiv Sena name and the bow-and-arrow party symbol to the faction led by Shinde, who revolted against Thackeray and replaced him as the chief minister, joining hands with the BJP last year, the Shiv Sena has been claiming to represent all party leaders irrespective of their factional loyalty.
Sources say there is still no clarity about whether the Uddhav faction has been recognised as a separate group by the legislative assembly speaker and deputy speaker of the legislative council.
Speaking to the media before the assembly session, the speaker of the lower house Rahul Narvekar said that there is only one Shiv Sena and no other faction has given any application to be recognised as a separate group.
Viplav Bajoria told News18 in the assembly premises, “Every party chief has the right to nominate the chief whip and whip of the party. Uddhav Thackeray gave the letter after chief minister Shinde gave his. Why didn’t he submit that letter earlier? All those who have won on the bow-and-arrow symbol are Shiv Sena leaders. The ECI has given the party name and symbol to Eknath Shinde, i.e., to us. So if a whip gets issued, it is mandatory for all Shiv Sena MLCs.”
Though Shinde doesn’t enjoy a majority in the upper house of the assembly, Bajoria is confident that his party will have the numbers there too as they are already in talks with Uddhav camp members of the legislative council.
Uddhav camp leader and member of the state legislative council Manisha Kayande told News18, “The Supreme Court has given us protection and the Shiv Sena has given an undertaking that they won’t issue the whip. So let’s wait till further orders of the Supreme Court in this regard.”
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