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Who Is Real Shiv Sena: Uddhav Thackeray Challenges CM Eknath Shinde, Speaker Narvekar To Public Debate

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New Delhi: Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of the rival faction of Shiv Sena, on Tuesday attacked Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narwekar for his decision to declare the party led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena. Thackeray said he will take the fight to the people’s court. Thackeray, who was the former chief minister of Maharashtra, said his struggle would determine the fate of democracy in the country. He was speaking at a “people’s court” and a “mega press conference”.

The “people’s court” was organised in Worli, the seat of Thackeray’s son and ex-minister Aaditya Thackeray. It was attended by the top leaders of Shiv Sena UBT and the lawyers who represented Thackeray in the Supreme Court, the Election Commission and the hearings conducted by Narwekar. Thackeray called Narwekar “dishonest” and challenged him and Shinde to a public debate on who was the real Shiv Sena.

Narwekar had given a verdict on January 10 that the Shinde group was the authentic Sena and rejected the disqualification pleas filed by both Shinde and Thackeray groups against each other’s MLAs after the party split in June 2022. “I am taking this battle to the people’s court,” Thackeray said firmly.

Thackeray also showed old videos of his election as the party chief in 2013 and 2018 to support his claim. In one of the videos, Narwekar is seen attending the party function when he was a part of the united Shiv Sena. Thackeray asked why the BJP invited him to Delhi after the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections if he was not the legitimate Shiv Sena chief.

He also criticised the Election Commission and asked whether it “ate” the constitution of the united Sena. He said the poll body should pay back the money spent on 19.41 lakh affidavits of party members, signed on Rs 100 stamp papers, which were submitted during the hearings before the commission.

Shiv Sena UBT leader Anil Parab, who is in charge of the legal aspect of the case, said the Election Commission of India communicated with the united Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray regularly between 2018 and 2022.

Narwekar, on his part, defended his decision not to accept the amended constitution of the united Shiv Sena of 2018. He said the party had only informed the Election Commission about Uddhav Thackeray becoming the party chief but did not submit the amended constitution.

Narwekar said in his verdict that the Sena’s 1999 constitution was the valid one for deciding which group was the real Shiv Sena. “My actions were based on the Supreme Court’s guidelines,” he said at the press conference. He also explained his decision not to disqualify Thackeray group MLAs and said the whip issued to them was not sent properly.

He mocked Thackeray and said a “part-time president or part-time lawyer” cannot do work and one has to devote himself fully to a party. He further said that the rules made by a party should not be only on paper but also implemented. He said running a party is a matter of responsibility.



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