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After 38 MLAs Shift Loyalties to Shinde, Uddhav’s Challenge to Save Party as Corporators, Office Bearers Flee

Amid mounting trouble for the Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, many city corporators and party office bearers have decided to support rebel leader and state minister Eknath Shinde.

So far, around 38 MLAs have pledged support to Shinde while the rebel camp has already passed a resolution on Thursday declaring him the leader of Shiv Sena. The rebel camp has already crossed the critical number required to split the party without falling foul of the anti-defection law.

After the MLAs switched to the rebel camp, 60 corporators from Thane district have agreed to support Shinde. The Mayor of the city has also shown support for him, sources said.

The overwhelming support by the MLAs and now the position bearers of the party for Shinde has made it difficult for Uddhav to save his party.

37 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs signed a resolution on Thursday appointing Eknath Shinde as the legislature leader of the party. With this letter, Shinde proves the majority and avoids the anti-defection law. The letter has been marked to the Maharashtra governor, Deputy Speaker and Assembly Secretary.

The biggest challenge before Uddhav Thackeray remains keeping corporators and other officer bearers intact to save the party symbol.

Amid ongoing political crisis, Shiv Sena has called a meeting of the party’s district presidents to be chaired by CM Uddhav Thackeray at Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai at 12 pm on Friday.

A meeting was also held yesterday at Matoshree, the residence of Uddhav Thackeray, where the Mumbai unit met Thackeray to discuss plans to save the party.

Shiv Sena had also filed a petition before the Maharashtra Assembly’s Deputy Speaker and demanded the disqualification of 12 rebels MLAs for not attending the party meeting.

Shinde, however, said that team Thackeray’s move to file disqualification notices against the rebel MLAs was “illegal”.

“What was done yesterday is illegal, they have no right. We are the people in the majority and numbers are important in a democracy. That is illegal, even they cannot do such suspension. We will not be scared by this,” he said.

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