Maharashtra political crisis: In fight for ‘real’ Shiv Sena, a look at the Uddhav Thackeray camp

The Maharashtra political crisis continues to play out in both Mumbai and Guwahati. On Thursday, it reached a peak when 37 Shiv Sena MLAs o...

The Maharashtra political crisis continues to play out in both Mumbai and Guwahati.

On Thursday, it reached a peak when 37 Shiv Sena MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction sent a letter to Maharashtra Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, stating that Eknath Shinde will remain their group leader in legislature.

With 37 MLAs, the one-time loyalist of the Thackeray family Eknath Shinde has achieved the number to split the party in the Assembly without falling foul of the anti-defection law. Shinde reached the desirable number of 37 when Deepak Kesarkar, Sada Sarvankar, Mangesh Kudalkar, Sanjay Rathod and Dadaji Bhuse joined the breakaway group.

At the same time, Shiv Sena party chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called a meeting of MLAs in Mumbai where it was revealed that he had support of 16 MLAs, tipping the scales in favour of the breakaway group. However, Sena spokesperson and veteran leader Sanjay Raut claimed that 21 MLAs of the breakaway group had contacted them.

Also read: Whether or not Eknath Shinde’s rebellion succeeds, Shiv Sena as we know it is finished

"Uddhav Thackeray will come back to Varsha Bungalow very soon. 21 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted us and when they return to Mumbai, they will be with us," said Raut.

Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut echoed the same sentiments, claiming that at least 18 MLAs have got in touch with the party. “At least 18 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai and several of those will return soon,” the MP said.

As the crisis continues to play out, here’s a look at those who continue to stand by Uddhav through the turmoil.

The Sena supporters

In the 16 MLAs supporting Uddhav Thackeray, his son, Aaditya Thackeray, the MLA from Mumbai’s Worli, is the only minister.

Considered to be long-time loyalists of the Thackeray family, Ajay Chaudhary — an MLA from Shivdi, Sanjay Potnis, Prakash Phaterpekar, Ramesh Korgaonkar, Rajan Salvi, Vaibhav Naik have extended their support to Uddhav.

Besides these, two other MLAs, who were initially a part of Eknath Shinde’s group, have also supported the Thackerays in the turmoil. Kailas Patil from Osmanabad and Nitin Deshmukh of Balapur had joined the Shinde group, but eventually found their way home. In fact, in Deshmukh’s case, he claimed that he was forcefully detained by the rebels.

Ravindra Waikar, who has astute understanding and clout in Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, is also in Uddhav’s camp. The former mayor of Mumbai, Sunil Prabhu, has also backed Uddhav Thackeray in the ongoing fight.

Sunil Raut, who is Sanjay Raut’s brother, and a two-time MLA from Mumbai’s Vikhroli is also supporting Thackeray.

The other MLAs in Uddhav’s camp is Rahul Patil, Santosh Bangar and Bhaskar Jadhav.

Action against Eknath’s camp

The Uddhav camp on Thursday also sought the disqualification of 12 lawmakers, including Eknath Shinde.

If the 12 legislators are disqualified, the party’s total strength will come down to 43 and Eknath Shinde will require support of 29 MLAs to form a separate group in the House.

Reacting to the news, Shinde said he and his supporters will not be intimidated by disqualification threats. He also argued that the application is illegal.

He, in turn, claimed that his group is the real Shiv Sena and that action will be taken against the MLAs who have not joined him for forming a separate group.

With inputs from agencies

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India World News: Maharashtra political crisis: In fight for ‘real’ Shiv Sena, a look at the Uddhav Thackeray camp
Maharashtra political crisis: In fight for ‘real’ Shiv Sena, a look at the Uddhav Thackeray camp
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