Maharashtra crisis: Uddhav Thackeray- Eknath Shinde feud now reaches Lok Sabha
- Uddhav Thackeray camp appointed Rajan Vichare as Lok Sabha Chief Whip
- Vichare replaces Bhawana Gawali
- Shiv Sena has 12 MPs in the Rajya Sabha
Rebellion in Shiv Sena ranks now reached Parliament when the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction on Wednesday appointed Rajan Vichare as the party chief whip in the Lok Sabha, replacing Bhawana Gawali. The Shiv Sena has 18 members in the Lok Sabha and three members in Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha MP and Samana editor Sanjay Raut wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announcing the change. The change in party whip is an indication of the Shinde rebellion now reaching Delhi.
The newly-appointed Shiv Sena chief whip Rajan Vichare hails from Thane, the home base of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Bhawana Gawali, who was replaced by the party, reportedly said prior to the rebellion that Shiv Sena should ally with the BJP and form the government. Gawali has also been faced with Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons of late.
Wednesday’s change of chief whip came after rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil had claimed that 12 of Shiv Sena’s 18 MLAs will side with the Eknath Shinde camp. It was after Patil said this that the Uddhav Thackeray faction decided to quickly take action and appoint a new chief whip. Sanjay Raut, Leader of Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party wrote to Parliamentary Affairs minister Prahlad Joshi: “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.
Meanwhile, Rahul Shewale, another Shiv Sena MP urged Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday to support Droupadi Murmu, BJP’s presidential candidate. The oppositional stance of the Sena, until Uddhav was at the helm, would have otherwise been with Yashwant Sinha.
The role of the party chief whip became important during the Maharashtra floor test in which 164 MLAs supported the Eknath Shinde faction and 99 supported the Shinde faction.