Mumbai: Ten days after Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against him which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray removed the newly appointed chief minister from the post of Shiv Sena leader for indulging in "anti-party activities".
Shinde has also "voluntarily" given up the membership of the party, therefore "in exercise of powers vested in me as Shiv Sena party president, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation," said the letter from Thackeray.
The letter is dated 30 June, the day Shinde took oath as chief minister with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
Earlier on Friday, Thackeray lashed out at the BJP for giving the CM post to Eknath Shinde, and said that had the former ally partner agreed to this earlier, there would have been no Maha Vikas Aghadi in the state.
For the unversed, the Shiv Sena and BJP had parted ways after the 2019 Assembly elections in the state as the former demanded 2.5 years of Chief Ministership each for both the parties during the term of five years, which the latter had not agreed to. Shiv Sena had then stitched an alliance with rivals NCP and Congress to form the government.
Talking about the swearing-in ceremony of Shinde, Thackeray said, "About what happened yesterday, I had told Amit Shah earlier as well that there should be a Shiv Sena CM for 2.5 years (during Shiv Sena-BJP alliance). Had they done this earlier, there would have been no Maha Vikas Aghadi."
Thackeray, who headed a coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress, stepped down as chief minister on 29 June after the Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. With 39 out of 55 Sena MLAs being part of Shinde's camp, it was apparent that the government had lost its majority.
The Sena had earlier sought disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs, and also removed Shinde as the party's leader in the Assembly. The Shinde camp, on the other hand, claimed that as they had majority, their group was the real Shiv Sena in the legislature.
The Eknath Shinde's government in Maharashtra will face a Vote of Confidence on 4 July, to prove its majority in the State Assembly. The Special Session of the Maharashtra Assembly will be held on 3 and 4 July.
(With inputs from agencies)