Speaker’s one Shiv Sena claim: Uddhav camp mulls seeking separate group tag | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Speaker’s one Shiv Sena claim: Uddhav camp mulls seeking separate group tag

BySaurabha Kulshreshtha, Mumbai
Feb 24, 2023 02:20 AM IST

Assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar’s repeated claim that there is only one Shiv Sena on the record has unsettled Uddhav Thackeray camp who is still recovering from the effects of the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision last week.

Assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar’s repeated claim that there is only one Shiv Sena on the record has unsettled Uddhav Thackeray camp who is still recovering from the effects of the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision last week.

Mumbai, India - February 20, 2023: Uddhav Thackeray alongside MP Sanjay Raut addresses the media during a press conference, at Sena Bhavan, Dadar, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, February 20, 2023. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - February 20, 2023: Uddhav Thackeray alongside MP Sanjay Raut addresses the media during a press conference, at Sena Bhavan, Dadar, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, February 20, 2023. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

After losing the party name and the symbol bow and arrow to ally-turned-rival Eknath Shinde, legislators affiliated to Shiv Sena (UBT) are contemplating seeking recognition as a separate group and are likely to consult legal experts on the matter.

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However, the poll panel’s order clearly states that there is a split in the party and also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court allowed Thackeray camp to continue using its current name and the symbol flaming torch till the next hearing.

Also read: Number Theory: How will the churn in Shiv Sena and JD(U) affect 2024?

On the basis of ECI’s acknowledgement, Thackeray faction could work as a separate group in the legislature, former principal secretary of state legislature Anant Kalse said. “They will have to submit a letter to the speaker along with a copy of the ECI order and documents from the Supreme Court proceedings.”

In his statements in the house on Wednesday, which he repeated on Thursday, Narvekar said. “There is only one Shiv Sena on the assembly record, and I have not received any authorised communication over the issue of whip. Seating position will be as per norms.”

This has created confusion among the Thackeray supporters. Sensing the unease, the former CM on Thursday chaired an urgent meeting of his MLAs and tried to boost their morale by giving them assurance of protection against any possible action by the ruling Shinde-BJP alliance.

Thackeray also asked them to take an aggressive stand on all people-centric issues during the session which begins on Monday. “Don’t worry about the action. I will take care of the legal battle, and you all concentrate on your constituencies. Be aggressive on the issues related to public interest.”

Also read: Supreme Court issues notice to Shinde, EC on Uddhav plea in battle over Shiv Sena name, symbol

Sena (UBT) group leader in the assembly, Ajay Chaudhary, said they would take legal advice before submitting a letter to the speaker and expressed confidence that none of the 16 party MLAs would shift their loyalty due to fear of action.

“Let the speaker say whatever he wants to. Let him do whatever he wants to. If he does anything wrong, we will challenge it in court. We will remain loyal to the party and Thackeray and don’t care about any action. We will take legal advice before submitting a letter at the speaker’s office to claim that our party is a separate group from the Shiv Sena led by chief minister Shinde.” Chaudhary said.

Based on the advice from legal experts, Thackeray faction will also submit a letter seeking a party office in the state legislature and parliament. Recently, the group led by Shinde has taken control of the Shiv Sena offices at both places.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court asked Shinde-led Sena’s counsel if they would issue a whip and take action against the Thackeray faction MPs-MLAs to which the former replied in negative.

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