Twelve Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena met Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday and requested him to change the party's floor leader in the Lower House of Parliament.
The 12 MPs included Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's son Shrikant Shinde. They met Birla a day after Shiv Sena's current floor leader Vinayak Raut gave a letter to Birla that asked him not to entertain any representation from the rival faction.
"Twelve Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena met Speaker Om Birla and requested him to appoint Rahul Shewale in place of Vinayak Raut as the party's floor leader," Hemant Godse, one of the 12 MPs of the Shinde faction who met Birla, said.
Raut, in his letter submitted to the speaker on Monday night, had made it clear that he was the "duly appointed" leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party and Rajan Vichare was the chief whip.
The Shiv Sena rebels' meeting with Birla has come amid reports that Shiv Sena parliamentary party is staring at a split. The majority of Sena MPs —12 out of 18— have approached Birla.
It was reported on Monday that Eknath Shinde would be in Delhi on Tuesday and rebel MPs would meet him. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut threatened action against those meeting Shinde.
"We will take action against MPs who attend the meeting with Shinde," Raut told reporters in Delhi.
“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 earlier said.
(With PTI inputs)