THE BUSINESS Advisory Committee of the state legislative assembly met on Thursday morning to discuss programme for the coming monsoon session but MLAs of Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction were conspicuous by their absence. Speaker Rahul Narvekar told The Indian Express that since the Chief Minister is the group leader of Shiv Sena, and nobody informed his office about the split in the Sena, he accepted the names given by Eknath Shinde.
Following Shinde’s rebellion in June 2022 and the subsequent change of guard in Maharashtra, the Shinde camp has been claiming they are the original Shiv Sena. The legislative secretariat has also accepted names of Chief minister Eknath Shinde as the legislative party leader, and Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip of the legislative party. As a result, none of the 15 MLAs of Sena, who have not extended support to Shinde, are a part of the BAC for assembly.
The Thackeray camp has named Ajay Choudhary as group leader and Sunil Prabhu as the chief whip. On Thursday evening, Prabhu submitted a letter to Narvekar’s office, demanding inclusion of these names in the BAC. A delegation of Opposition leaders too held a meeting with Narvekar demanding the same.
Narvekar said, “We have accepted the names sent to us by Shiv Sena group leader Eknath Shinde, who is also the Chief Minister. Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs and none of the group has come to us and said they are a different faction. We have only one Shiv Sena in front of us. As per the records in front of us, the group leader has been appointed by the majority of MLAs. We sought names from the group leader (Shinde) and those names were added in the BAC.”
When asked about the letter given by Prabhu, the Speaker said he cannot entertain letters written by each MLA and he has to go by the rulebook.
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In the afternoon, the Opposition held a meeting to discuss the strategy for the monsoon session.