Following a request by 12 of the 19 Shiv Sena Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla Tuesday recognised Rahul Shewale as the floor leader of the party in the lower house.
The move comes almost a month after a revolt in the Shiv Sena ranks saw over two-third MLAs joining rebel leader and now Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, paving the way for a new alliance government with the BJP.
A two-time MP from Mumbai South Central, the 49-year-old Dalit leader, who has been associated with the Sena for over two decades now, was the first party MP to write to Uddhav Thackeray urging him to support NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu in the elections.
Lately, Shewale has also been in the news for rape allegations against him.
The son of a Naval officer who was born in Mumbai, Shewale was a Sena shakha pramukh in the city in the early 2000s.