Shiv Sena heads for major split: With 38 MLAs, Shinde’s faction protected from Anti-Defection Law
New Delhi, Jun 23: The split of the Balasaheb Thackeray founded Shiv Sena is heading for a split with six more of its MLAs joining the rebels who are stationed in Guwahati.
The Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena now has the backing of 37 MLAs, one more than the number needed to split the party without attracting disqualification under the anti-defection law. Earlier four lawmakers Deepak Kesarkar, Sada Sarvankar, Mangesh Kudalkar, and Sanjay Rathod joined the Shinde faction.
Reacting to the developments, Shiv Sena leader, Sanjay Raut said that those who had left are not Shiv Sena. The real Shiv Sena is what we saw on the streets of Mumbai yesterday. Our party is strong. Some MLAs leaving us does not mean the organisation is weak. Around 17 to 18 are in the custody of the BJP. We are in touch with 20 MLAs he said.
A document with 34 signatories, including two from the Prahar Janshakti Partyand two Independent legislators on Wednesday meant that effectively the number of Sena lawmakers was 30.
The number came down to 29 when Deshmukh returned to Mumbai. However late on Wednesday evening, two Sena MLAs joined Shinde with two Independents, taking the rebel camp's strength to 37 of which 31 are from the Shiv Sena.
On Wednesday, Shinde claimed that he had the support of 40 MLAs. The legislators who are in Guwahati are scheduled to meet today in the afternoon and hold another meeting in the evening depending on how the situation unfolds. Reports say that they are likely to spend another three days in Guwahati.