Mumbai: The Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena on Monday night issued a notice to 14 MLAs from the Uddhav Thackeray camp for violating a whip issued by Shiv Sena chief whip and Shinde loyalist Bharat Gogawale, but excluded the name of Aaditya Thackeray, son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, ‘out of respect’, said a PTI report. The whip issued by Bharat Gogawale had reportedly asked all the MLAs of Shiv Sena to vote for Eknath Shinde in the trust vote in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday. In the trust vote, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence while 99 voted against it.

A day before the floor test on Sunday, Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narvekar had recognised Gogawale as the chief whip of Shiv Sena. “It is true that we have issued a notice for the violation of the whip to Shiv Sena MLAs who did not vote for CM Shinde. However, we have omitted the name of Aaditya from it out of respect,” PTI quoted Gogawale as saying. 

He said all Shiv Sena MLAs, including those in the Uddhav Thackeray camp, had worked together for a long time with Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray, adding “We respect them, but they should have addressed our concerns.” 

Uddhav Thackeray dares BJP to hold mid-term polls in Maharashtra

On a day the Eknath Shinde-led government won the trust vote in the Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray targeted the BJP saying it was scheming to finish his party. He also dared the BJP to hold mid-term elections in the state, while addressing a meeting of Sena district presidents at the Shiv Sena Bhawan here on Monday.

The former chief minister, who had to resign due to Shinde’s revolt, said it was an insult to the Constitution to run the Legislative Assembly arbitrarily, adding “The BJP is trying to finish Shiv Sena. I dare them to hold mid-term polls in the state. Instead of playing all these games, we will go in the people’s court. If we are wrong, people will send us home and if you (BJP and Shinde group) are wrong, people will send you home.” 

Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya said the Sena will not be finished just because some people have left the party, adding that Maharashtra might face mid-term elections along with Gujarat elections, due in December this year.

Aaditya told reporters at the Sena Bhavan, “It is evident (in the floor test) that the whip issued by Shiv Sena was violated. That is why we have taken some action against it.” The Worli MLA said the MLAs who had joined the Shinde faction will soon realise their “blunder” when they visit their constituencies and face people.

Last month, Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against the Shiv Sena, and the majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30, a day after Thackeray quit the post. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the deputy CM.

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