Shinde is Shiv Sena house leader, Uddhav remains upset

The newly-elected Shiv Sena MLAs on Thursday elected Eknath Shinde as the leader of the party‘s legislative wing, even as party chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed ‘disappointment‘ over Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis‘s statement that the Bharatiya Janata Party had not promised `50:50‘ formula for power-sharing in Maharashtra, sources said.

IMAGE: Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Sunil Prabhu (right) being greeted by party chief Uddhav Thackeray as Aaditya Thackeray (left) watches on. Photograph: Courtesy, Shiv Sena on Twitter.

Sunil Prabhu was elected as the chief whip of the party in the Maharashtra legislature.

Shinde, an MLA from neighbouring Thane, was the leader of house in the previous term as well, besides being a cabinet minister in the BJP-Sena government.

First-time MLA and Thackeray family scion Aaditya tabled the motion to elect Shinde as the leader of house.

 

Pratap Sarnaik seconded the motion.

Sena sources said party chief and Aaditya‘s father Uddhav Thackeray was not keen to appoint his son as the head of the Sena‘s legislative unit.

Uddhav Thackeray was present at the meeting held at the Sena headquarters in Dadar.

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It was also attended by some of the independents who have extended support to the party which is locked in a tug-of-war with the ally BJP post-October 21 Maharashtra elections seeking equal sharing of the power.

The Sena has won 56 seats against the BJP‘s 105. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has claimed that seven independents are supporting it.

Shinde later told reporters that the MLAs had delegated the power to take decisions about government formation to Uddhav Thackeray.

“All the powers are delegated to party chief Uddhav Thackeray. We will follow whatever decision he takes,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said the Sena chief, who was present at the meeting, expressed disappointment over Fadnavis‘s comment that no 50:50 formula — denoting equal sharing of power — was promised to the Sena.

Thackeray, sources said, also stressed that he intended to get a larger share of power in the alliance government compared to the 2014 arrangement.

The Sena chief also told his party‘s legislators that the BJP so far has not offered any power-sharing formula for government formation, the sources added.

The two saffron allies have not been able to work out the power-sharing arrangement despite getting a clear majority in the state elections, the results of which were announced on October 24.

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