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Eknath Shinde will legally challenge his removal as Shiv Sena leader, says Deepak Kesarkar

On Friday, Shiv Sena chairman and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray removed Eknath Shinde as “head of the Shiv Sena”, accusing him of engaging in “anti-party activities”.

Deepak Kesarkar, Shiv Sena rebel leader. ANI

Bombay: If Shiv Sena Chairman Uddhav Thackeray does not withdraw his decision to remove Eknath Shinde as ‘Head of Shiv Sena’, Maharashtra’s new chief minister will legally challenge the decision, the rebel party MP said on Saturday Deepak Kesarkar.

Deepak Kesarkar, who is the spokesman for the Shinde faction, told reporters in Goa, where they are currently camping, that if Thackeray did not overturn the decision, legal action would be taken.

“All elected MPs have appointed Shinde as the Group Leader. His removal as the Legislative Assembly Group Leader has also been challenged in the Supreme Court. We will respond legally to Thackeray,” Kesarkar said.

On Friday, Shiv Sena chairman and former chief minister Thackeray removed Shinde as “leader of the Shiv Sena”, accusing him of engaging in “anti-party activities”.

In a letter, Thackeray said Shinde had “voluntarily” renounced party membership, so “in exercise of the powers vested in me as Chairman of the Shiv Sena Party, I am removing you from the post of leader of the Shiv Sena in the party organization”.

“The workers sign an affidavit of Rs 100 that they will not leave Shiv Sena. Shiv Bandhan (tied when a person joins Shiv Sena) is the ‘bandhan’ of love and he is always with us. This is just to mislead the workers… We will not speak against Uddhav saheb’s statement. We still believe that he is our leader, we have answers to all questions but there is a limit to that,” noted Kesarkar.

The Shinde faction is expected to be back in Mumbai tonight to attend the extraordinary session of the Assembly which begins on Sunday.

Thackeray, who led a coalition government made up of Sena, NCP and Congress, resigned as chief minister on June 29 after the Supreme Court refused to suspend the ground test ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari . With 39 of Sena’s 55 lawmakers in Shinde’s camp, it was apparent that the government had lost its majority.

The special session of the Maharashtra Assembly will be held on July 3-4.

(With agency contributions)

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