Eknath Shinde's Faction Names Itself 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb': Rebel MLA Kesarkar

At present, Shinde has the support of at least 40 Shiv Sena MLAs.

2 min read
Hindi Female
Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

As the political impasse in Maharashtra entered its fifth day, the group of rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde decided to call itself 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb,' news agency ANI reported, quoting rebel leader Deepak Kesarkar on Saturday, 25 June.

This development came a day after Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray took dissident Shiv Sena MLAs head on, accusing them of betrayal and challenging them to try and wean away common party workers.

"Challenge you to separate the Thackeray name from the Shiv Sena and run it successfully. If you don't want to use my pictures, never mind. But I challenge you to run the Shiv Sena without using Bal Thackeray's name or picture."
CM Uddhav Thackeray

He added, "The BJP wants that Uddhav should be left alone and everybody else should join them. The BJP might be able to break the ones who have been elected, but I challenge you to break their electors."

At present, Shinde has the support of at least 40 Shiv Sena MLAs, which is three more than the crucial two-thirds majority of the party’s strength in the legislature, required to split the Sena without falling afoul of the anti-defection law.

'Will Take Legal Action Against Those Using Balasaheb's Name for Political Gains': Raut

Reacting to the Shinde camp's announcement, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that legal action would be taken against the rebels who were using Balasaheb's name for political gains.

"We will take legal action against those who have used Balasaheb Thackeray's name for their self-centred politics. Those who have left can't use our patriarch's name," Raut said.

"CM Uddhav Thackeray has said that the leaders who have left Shiv Sena should not ask for votes in the name of Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray. Ask for votes in the name of your father. Maha Vikas Aghadi is united," he added.

'Rebels Have No Choice but To Merge With a Party': Sena Leader

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe, who is also the Legislative Council deputy chairperson, had addressed the party functionaries on Friday, and said the rebel MLA group will have to merge with a political party to escape disqualification from the Assembly.

"They have no choice but to merge either with the BJP or the Prahar party. Given the technicalities, they will not be able to stake claim to the party name or logo. It's not that easy," she stated.

Earlier on Saturday, Raut had asserted that it is not easy to hijack the Shiv Sena and warned BJP leader and former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to "stay out of it."

"Shiv Sena was been made with our blood and sweat. Many sacrificed themselves for it. Nobody can break it with money," he added.

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