How to counter the anti-defection law without giving up the label “Real Shiv Sena”? Shinde moves on to the next puzzle


With the resignation of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray from the post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the BJP is ready to demand the formation of the government. Sources said former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will meet the governor in the evening and will likely be joined by rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

Along with the formation of the government, the state is also likely to witness a tussle between Thackeray and Shinde for control of the party. Both factions claim to be the true heir to Bal Thackeray’s legacy.

So who is the real Shiv Sena?

The ball will ultimately land in the Election Commission’s court to determine who gets the “bow and arrow” symbol and the result will be based on who holds the most support among lawmakers and party officials.

In the fight for the symbol, Shinde and Thackeray will also have to convince executives who are equally confused as to who the true standard bearer for Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena would be.

While the State awaits a new government, the Assembly awaits a new president who will decide on the disqualification of the rebel deputies. “It’s very clear that Shinde & Team don’t want to merge with any party or they won’t be able to argue for the ‘real Shiv Sena’ point. So it is the EC or the new president who will determine the future of the Shiv Sena now,” former House Secretary Anant Kalse told News18.

Kalse added that even when the disqualification motion is heard by the Supreme Court, there is still no clarity on who would be the whip or legislative party leader for the Shiv Sena.

Mumbai-based political analyst Sanjay Jog told News18: “Right now, the Shinde camp is busy showing that he is the ‘real Shiv Sena’ and has the support of 39 lawmakers who have been elected on the party symbol.”

Shinde has convinced every MP who is with him that he will fight tooth and nail to be declared as the ‘true shiv Sena’ and it would be a challenge as the fight could be long, observed a senior BJP leader who did not wish to be named.

Embrace the BJP?

When veteran leader Prakash Ambedkar tweeted to ask if the BJP had asked Shinde and his team to merge with the party in order to form the government, he put the cat among the pigeons.

Insiders say it was one of the first options that was put before Eknath Shinde when plans for forming a government under Devendra Fadnavis were discussed. News18 spoke to senior national BJP leaders who confirmed that the party would host Shinde’s team if they were ready.

“We are open to it, but the decision is up to Eknath Shinde and others,” a senior BJP national official told News18 on condition of anonymity.

Experts also believe Shinde’s team seems indecisive, so much so that some of the decisions they make could lead to legal complications and a lengthy court battle over the Shiv Sena symbol as well as their recognition as than a political party. .

Maharashtra official and National General Secretary CT Ravi said technical details and details on how the BJP and Shinde camp will form the government will be decided in a meeting with party leaders in Mumbai.

“It will be decided by the party after serious deliberation. Central management will take the last call,” Ravi said.

Merge with another party?

Shinde’s faction must be recognized as a new political party by the EC and only then will it be able to shield rebel lawmakers from the anti-defection law, experts say.

Shinde claimed to have more than two-thirds majority and support from Shiv Sena lawmakers. If they want to immediately form the government with the BJP, they may have to explore the possibility of merging with another party in order to be recognized as a political party.

If a merger with a political party is on the cards, an insider said they may start talks with Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) as he is still in line with the Shiv Sena ideology. Sources, however, told News18 that a meeting between Shinde and Thackeray did not yield results.

The other option would have been the Prahar Janshakti Party (PJP) which was also the first partner of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to offer support to the rebel group. But Shinde has ruled out the possibility of mergers as he doesn’t want to give up the fight for the ‘real Shiv Sena’ tag.

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