Shrikant Shinde, Shiv Sena MP and the son of Maharashtra's rebel MLA Eknath Shinde, today claimed legitimacy for the faction led by his father. Asked about real and fake Shiv Sena in an exclusive interview with NDTV, he said, "I think today there are more than 50 MLAs under the leadership of Shinde Saheb. Everyone says that we are still in Shiv Sena. All are Shiv Sainiks and all belong to Shiv Sena".
In a petition in Supreme Court, Eknath Shinde said the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra has lost majority in the house as 38 of 55 Shiv Sena legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition.
Leaders in the Shinde faction have been talking of calling themselves the "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" and staking claim for the party symbol. The Thackeray faction has already made a pre-emptive move, writing to the Election Commission against this.
The Thackeray faction has claimed that at least 20 MLAs camping with Mr Shinde are against a merger with the BJP and have been in touch with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Regarding the relief from the Supreme Court regarding the disqualification notice to 16 of the rebels, Shrikant Shinde said the "truth has won".
"The Deputy Chairman tried to disqualify them illegally, it was not right. That's why we filed a petition in the Supreme Court and we have won," he said.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued notices to Maharashtra Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, Chief Whip Sunil Prabhu, leader of Legislature party Anil Chaudhary and the Centre in response to several petitions from the Shinde camp.
Shrikant Shinde also denied any knowledge about the Enforcement Directorate notice to Sena's Sanjay Raut or whether any other MLA is in touch with the Shinde camp.