Mumbai: On anticipated lines, the Shiv Sena ‘removed’ the new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as a ‘Shiv Sena Leader’ for indulging in ‘anti-party’ activities, the party confirmed here Saturday.
In a terse letter to Shinde Thursday, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who quit as Chief Minister June 29, said: “You have been indulging in anti-party activities and have voluntarily given up your membership of Shiv Sena.”
Accordingly, in exercise of the powers vested in him as the ‘Shivsena Paksha Pramukha’, Thackeray said he has removed Shinde as a Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation.
The party’s mouthpiece, ‘Saamana’ Group of publications have highlighted and confirmed the development in their editions Saturday amid speculation it could trigger a bigger struggle to control the 56-year-old party and its assets.
There are 11 Shiv Sena leaders in the top party hierarchy who plan out major policy decisions giving a direction to the party, and the move was taken as per certain precedents.
The possibility of a similar fate awaiting the other 39 MLAs who joined the Shinde-led rebellion June 20, is not ruled out, after it created an unprecedented political crisis in the state and led to the collapse of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Thursday.
On Friday, Thackeray dismissively said that a person who ‘sidelined’ the Sena could not be called a ‘Shiv Sena Chief Minister’, as contended by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and the rebels group, though Shinde’s supporters are unfazed.
While Thackeray resigned as Chief Minister June 29 after 31 months in power, the Sena ‘rebel’ Shinde was sworn-in as the new Chief Minister with the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as the surprise Deputy Chief Minister Thursday.
The new government has been ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to seek a ‘vote of confidence’ in a Special Legislative Assembly session to be held July 3-4.