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Sena chief Uddhav asked health minister Sawant to stay put: Leaders

Deepak Sawant, who was denied a ticket by Shiv Sena to get re-elected to the upper house of the state legislature, could be considered for next round of MLC election in July

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2018 00:28 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Uddhav Thackeray,Shiv Sena
Sena leaders point out that that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reconsidered giving a ticket to Sawant as complaints against the health minister from within the party, especially the youth faction, were growing. (HT FILE)

A day after Maharashtra health minister Deepak Sawant was denied a ticket by the Shiv Sena to get re-elected to the upper house of the state legislature, senior party leaders said Sawant will not resign from the state cabinet. Sena leaders added that party chief Uddhav Thackeray could consider him for the next round of MLC election that is scheduled in July.

On Monday, Thackeray nominated Vilas Potnis, a vibhag pramukh from north Mumbai, for the upcoming Mumbai Graduates' constituency election later this month. As per the law, a member has six months to become a member of either of the houses again. Sawant’s term ends on July 7.

A senior Sena leader requesting anonymity said, “Sawant has not resigned; Uddhav ji has asked him not to resign. He could be considered and accommodated for the non-Graduate seat election in July, but so far there is no final call on it. As per the law, he will have six months after his term ends, to become a member of one of the houses again.” According to another Sena leader, there would be 11 vacancies in the legislative council on July 27, and the Shiv Sena, which has 63 MLAs, can have at least two members.

Sena leaders point out that Thackeray reconsidered giving a ticket to Sawant as complaints against the health minister from within the party, especially the youth faction, were growing. Another key factor, according to a senior Sena leader, is that the Sena chief’s bête noire, Narayan Rane is fielding a candidate, which will be backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this election. “In such a situation, the leadership thought there should be a strong candidate, as opposed to one with whom party functionaries are not happy,” he said. Last month a delegation of Sena and Yuva Sena functionaries met Thackeray asking him to reconsider re-nominating Sawant.

In Maharashtra, out of 78 members of the legislative council, 31 are selected by the state assembly, 21 by the local authorities, 12 are nominated by the governor and seven are elected each by the Graduates’ and Teachers’ constituencies, respectively.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 00:26 IST