After the Shiv Sena's division in Maharashtra assembly, its parliamentary party was also staring at a split with several MPs set to petition Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to recognise them as a separate group.
A Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member claimed that at least 12 of the 18 Shiv Sena members will meet Birla to submit a formal letter to recognise it as a separate group.
Kalaben Delkar, the Lok Sabha member from Dadra & Nagar Haveli, has pledged her allegiance to the Shiv Sena, but had not contested the election on the party symbol.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will be in Delhi on Tuesday and the breakaway faction of Lok Sabha members are expected to meet him.
“We will take action against MPs who attend the meeting with Shinde,” Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member, told reporters in Delhi.
Shinde, who had led a rebellion within the Shiv Sena ranks, was sworn-in as chief minister on June 30 with the support of the BJP. He has the support of 40 of Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly and Speaker Rahul Narwekar has recognised the faction as the Legislature Party.
“We attended an online meeting held by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde today. We have decided to form a separate group under the leadership of Rahul Shewale (an MP from Mumbai South Central). He will be our group leader,” a Shiv Sena MP said.
As speculation about 14 Shiv Sena Lok Sabha members forming a separate group swirled, party MPs gathered at the residence of Sanjay Raut. Among those present were Arvind Sawant, Vinayak Raut, Omraje Nimbalkar, Sanjay Jadhav, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Rajan Vichare.
Raut said Lok Sabha member Gajanan Kirtikar was unwell. “How can you claim 14 MPs, when six-seven of us are here,” Raut said, pointing at Lok Sabha members present at the press conference.
Raut also dismissed reports about the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena dissolving the national executive of the party.
“Whatever is going on could at best be termed as Comedy Express Season 2. Shiv Sena is a recognised political party. The breakaway faction does not have any right to dissolve the national executive,” Raut said.
He said the Shinde faction has made a laughing stock of itself with its antics.
A Supreme Court bench constituted by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana will decide the fate of the breakaway faction led by Shinde, Raut said.