16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs served disqualification notice, must reply by Monday

Updated on Jun 25, 2022 04:17 PM IST

Shiv Sena MLA and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde is leading a rebellion against his party, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

Eknath Shinde with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at a hotel in Guwahati (PTI)(PTI)
Eknath Shinde with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at a hotel in Guwahati (PTI)(PTI)

Sixteen Shiv Sena MLAs who have allied with rebel leader Eknath Shinde - in his bid to force the party to sever ties with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, and re-align with the BJP - were served a disqualification notice Saturday by the deputy speaker of the Maharashtra assembly. They have been asked to file their reply by 5.30 pm on Monday. Shinde is named in the list of 16.

Should they be disqualified Eknath Shinde will lose his legislator's post and that, crucially, will see his revolt fail.

Shinde on Friday responded to the Sena's move seeking this disqualification notice by challenging the deputy speaker - Narhari Zirwal - to act.

Two independent MLAs - Mahesh Baldi and Vinod Aggarwal, who are seen as close to the Bharatiya Janata Party - filed a notice reminding him a no-confidence notice against him is still pending and, as such, he had no authority.

READ: Sena rebels to move court if deputy speaker doesn’t recognise them

Their notice was dismissed earlier today.

The Shiv Sena had moved the original notice against 12 rebel MLAs, including Shinde, late Thursday evening and added another four names on Friday.

The stand-off between chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and the rebels intensified Saturday morning after Sanjay Raut fired a couple of warning tweets.

First he referring to Rudyard Kipling's quote 'Beware of overconcern for money, or position or glory'. Later in the day he warned the rebel MLAs that unless they returned; '... Sainiks have not yet come out on the streets... If they do, the streets will be on fire," he said, shortly before a rebel's office was vandalised.

Shinde's broadsides on Saturday, meanwhile, began with a letter to Uddhav Thackeray and his home minister Dilip Walse-Patil, accusing them of the 'malicious withdrawal' of security assigned to their homes in Mumbai.

Walse-Patil responded swiftly, "Neither the chief minister nor the home department has ordered the withdrawal of security of any MLA."

READ: Shinde claims rebel's families' security removed, MVA responds

The two camps also clashed after Shinde's side said they had decided to call themselves ‘Shiv Sena (Balasaheb); throughout this rebellion Shinde has insisted he remains a 'true follower' of the late party founder.

"Our group will be called Shiv Sena (Balasaheb). We will not merge with any party,” the Sena's Deepak Kesarkar, one of the rebels, said.

Back came Uddhav Thackeray's reply: "I won't interfere in their (the rebels') matters… but no one should use Balasaheb Thackeray's name."

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