Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will remain the “chief leader” of the Shiv Sena, it was decided at its first national executive meeting held here on Tuesday evening.
The participants at the meeting, which came after the Election Commission last week recognized the Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena, gave all powers to take decisions about the party to Shinde.
All about the national executive meeting
State industries minister Uday Samant and party leader Ramdas Kadam gave information about the resolutions passed in the meeting.
The rival factions led by Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray are locked in legal battles over the control of the Shiv Sena.
“The meeting was chaired by chief leader of the Shiv Sena, chief minister Eknath Shinde," Samant said.
It resolved to form a disciplinary committee, he added.
Other resolutions included the demand of posthumous Bharat Ratna for freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
Another resolution demanded inclusion of Sambhaji Maharaj, Veermata Jijabai and Ahilyabai Holkar in the list of "national personalities."
Samant did not specify what role Uddhav Thackeray will have in this new Shiv Sena.
The disciplinary committee would be headed by state ports development minister Dada Bhuse; excise minister Shambhuraj Desai and Sanjay More will be its other members.
“The disciplinary committee will ensure smooth functioning of the party and will take action against party leaders who act against the party lines,” Samant said, without naming former party president Uddhav Thackeray and 16 MLAs who are loyal to him.
The Shinde-Thackeray feud
Shinde's revolt against Thackeray's leadership last June brought down the Thackeray-led Sena-Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra.
Thackeray camp has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Shinde group's defection and the way the Shinde-led government was formed with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Ramdas Kadam, a former minister, said, "All the MLAs, MPs and party leaders unanimously gave the power to take all future decisions about the Shiv Sena to Eknath Shinde.
"Shinde asked all the MLAs and party leaders to focus more on carrying on good work and spend less time in responding to criticism," he added.
Asked how the new national executive was different from the earlier one headed by Uddhav Thackeray, Kadam said the earlier national executive body was "autocratic and repressive."
Thackeray tried to end the political careers of veteran Shiv Sena leaders, he alleged.
"Not only me, but Uddhav Thackeray also tried to destroy the career of my son and MLA Yogesh Kadam through Anil Parab,” Kadam said.
“(Rajya Sabha member) Sanjay Raut had made an objectionable remark against late (Sena leader and Shinde's mentor) Anand Dighe. We have passed a resolution to condemn his remarks. There will be another news about him in the coming days,” Kadam said, hinting that Raut, who is loyal to Thackeray, could face action.
Shinde told those present at the meeting that he and his associates rescued the ideology of the Sena founder Bal Thackeray and the party's symbol which had been surrendered to the NCP and Congress, Kadam said.
Siddhesh Ramdas Kadam has been appointed as secretary of the Shiv Sena by Shinde.
The executive body also passed a resolution demanding that the Churchgate train station in Mumbai be named for former RBI governor and finance minister C D Deshmukh.
Meanwhile, reacting to the resolution demanding Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, a spokesperson of the Thackeray group said there was nothing new in it as the Maharashtra government had made this demand in 2018 and 2019.
(With PTI Inputs)