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Uddhav Thackeray replaces Shiv Sena's LS chief whip

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Mumbai, July 6: Rajan Vichare has been nominated as the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, party leader Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday.

Uddhav Thackeray replaces LS chief whip

She replaced MP Bhavana Gawali as the chief whip. "It is to inform you that Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party has nominated Rajan Vichare, MP (LS) as the chief whip in Lok Sabha in place of Bhavana Gawali, MP (LS), with immediate effect," Raut said in a letter to Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi.

Whips played a crucial role in the recent political crisis which culminated in the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government and Eknath Shinde taking oath as the new chief minister. The factions led by Shinde and Thackeray had issued whips for voting during the election of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the trust vote of the Shinde-led government. The validity of the whips is being contested by each other.

Vichare represents the Thane Lok Sabha constituency. Incidentally, CM Eknath Shinde also hails from Thane.

Yavatmal-Washim MP Gawali was one of the Sena MPs to suggest that her party should ally with the BJP again amid the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde.

The Shiv Sena has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha and Raut is the Leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party.

Earlier in the day, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil had claimed that 12 out of 18 Sena MPs would soon join the Eknath Shinde-led faction.

A day earlier, Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member Rahul Shewale had urged Uddhav Thackeray to ask party MPs to support NDA's Presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu, considering her tribal roots and contribution to the social sector.

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