If Uddhav Thackeray does not withdraw his decision of removing Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the position of ‘Shiv Sena leader’, then the latter would challenge the move legally, a rebel Sena MLA said on Saturday. Shiv Sena president and former chief minister Thackeray on Friday removed Shinde from the post of ‘Shiv Sena leader’, accusing him of indulging in “anti-party activities”.
In a letter, Thackeray said Shinde had “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”. Deepak Kesarkar, who is the spokesperson of the Shinde faction, told reporters in Goa, where they are currently camping, that if Thackeray doesn’t reverse the decision, then legal action would be taken.
“All elected MLAs have appointed Shinde as the group leader. His removal as the Legislative Assembly group leader has also been challenged in the Supreme court. We will respond to Thackeray legally,” Kesarkar asserted. He added that Shinde, as chief minister, was now the leader of the Legislative Assembly. “We have decided that we will not respond to any statements from Uddhav Thackeray. He is our leader and we respect him,” the Sawantwadi MLA said.
The Shinde faction is expected to be back in Mumbai tonight to attend the special session of the Assembly beginning on Sunday.