Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 25
Amid the buzz of a midnight flight to Vadodara (Gujarat), last night, by rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde who is currently camping in Guwahati to meet “senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis”, the ongoing fracas for control of Sena and the government in Maharashtra took another dramatic turn after the Sena’s national executive today passed a resolution authorising Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take action against “those who have betrayed the party”.
Facing rebellion led by Shinde, who claims the support of majority Sena MLAs, the executive, however, refrained from taking immediate action against him.
It also passed a resolution that no other political outfit can use the name Shiv Sena and the name of its founder Bal Thackeray. This came after rebels indicated forming a new party called Shiv Sena (Balasaheb), claiming that they are not joining the BJP.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut said: “The executive decided that the party belongs to Bal Thackeray and is committed to taking forward his ideology of ‘Hindutva’ and Marathi pride.”
“Shiv Sena will never deviate from this path. It passed a resolution, giving all powers to take action against those who have betrayed the party to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray”, he added.
The Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat, meanwhile, issued ‘summon’ to 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking their written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification. The no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was rejected on the ground of technicalities. Independent MLAs have submitted a fresh petition, sources said.
Amid incidents of violence and vandalism reported at properties of those belonging to his faction, Shinde alleged the Maharashtra Government had withdrawn the security cover provided at their residences.
The Aghadi government will be responsible if any harm is caused to their family members, rebels said, claiming that the security cover had been withdrawn on the orders of Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, who termed the allegations “mischievous and false”.
“Security of no MLA has been withdrawn. Keeping in view the prevailing situation, the Home Department has decided to provide security at the residence of MLAs to keep their families safe”, Walse-Patil said.
With passions running high among supporters on both sides, Raut said this was just “warming up”. “Shiv Sena means Thackeray,” he said, calling the anger of his supporters “natural”. “The party cannot be hijacked with such ease. It has been made with our blood and no one can break it with money,” Raut said.
Observers, meanwhile, believe Sena and NCP may be trying to push for “fresh Assembly elections with Gujarat polls” and perhaps also ensure that the high-stake BMC elections are postponed.
“This matter is not ending anytime soon, there are several technical and legal issues involved which can take weeks and months to sort out. The solicitor general has told the deputy speaker that he cannot disqualify Rebel MLAs. He can give them notice saying that the Shiv Sena has complained and they should reply. Rebels can approach the court, asking to be recognised as a separate faction. Rebels and BJP can also ask the governor to elect the speaker so that it can be proved who has the majority,” they said.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah also landed in Vadodara late Friday evening for a two-day official visit to Ekta Nagar(Kevadia) in the Narmada district.
Shah stayed in Vadodara circuit house on Friday before proceeding to Narmada Saturday morning, according to officials.
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Incident happened around 4.30 am