Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray wrote to 15 Shiv Sena MLAs, thanking them for their support during tough times, without surrendering to the pressure of threats or offers. Last month, a majority of the Shiv Sena MLAs, led by Eknath Shinde, rebelled against the party leadership, asking it to snap ties with the NCP and the Congress.
The revolt in the party led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led government. On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister, while BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy chief minister. Thackeray also called for a meeting with all Shiv Sena MPs at his residence ‘Matoshree,’ to take a decision on the next week’s presidential election.
Some Shiv Sena MPs had earlier asked the party leadership to support Droupadi Murmu, the nominee of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre. “The agenda is to discuss the party’s stand on the presidential election slated to be held on July 18,” Raut told news agency PTI.
In the past, the Shiv Sena had broken ranks with the NDA and supported the candidatures of Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee (both Congress leaders).
The Sena had left the NDA in 2019 and the Thackeray-led party then formed the government with the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra after ditching long-term ally BJP. Last week, Sena MPs Rahul Shewale and Rajendra Gavit had written to Thackeray and sought that the party back Murmu.