E Shinde's Power Move Today, Team Uddhav Case In Supreme Court Tomorrow

Uddhav Thackeray also requested to cancel the Election Commission's decision giving the Shiv Sena name and symbol to Team Eknath Shinde; the court will hear it tomorrow.

Team Eknath Shinde has got the Shiv Sena name and election symbol


Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will hold the Shiv Sena's first key meeting this evening, four days after the Election Commission gave his faction the Shiv Sena name and the bow-and-arrow party symbol. At the meeting, Mr Shinde is expected to be announced as the chief of the Shiv Sena, sources said.

Party leaders will unanimously give all powers to Mr Shinde, and after today's meet if a whip is issued by the Shiv Sena, it is applicable to everyone in the party, sources said, adding action will be taken against those who don't follow it. The post of the Shiv Sena president will be discontinued, they said.

Mr Shinde's rival and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also requested the Supreme Court today to cancel the Election Commission's decision giving the party name and symbol to Mr Shinde's faction. The court will hear the request at 3:30 pm tomorrow.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Team Thackeray, sought an urgent hearing before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, alleging Mr Thackeray's office and the party's bank accounts were being taken over.

Mr Shinde's lawyer Mahesh Jethamalani said they will explain tomorrow why the Supreme Court should not intervene in this matter as the high court has already rejected it.

Mr Shinde is likely to appoint new local leaders at the Sena's national executive meet this evening, sources said.

Today's meeting of the Maharashtra Chief Minister's faction is important, as he needs to get a measure of his strength and support base amid Mr Thackeray's consistent attacks and attempts to gain the loyalty of supporters and workers.

More flashpoints germane to the Sena name and symbol issue are likely to emerge as Mr Thackeray and Mr Shinde try to gain the loyalty of party workers and consolidate party assets.

While the Supreme Court battle goes on, Mr Thackeray is working to keep the morale high of party workers loyal to him by focussing on more activity at "Shiv Sainik" camps.

The Shiv Sena has a large network of camps across the state, which Mr Thackeray will contact afresh to start a "Shiv Shakti Abhiyan", or an exercise to strengthen the party's workers on the ground. Mr Thackeray announced this yesterday at Mumbai's Shiv Sena Bhavan.

Less than 24 hours later, a law firm sent a letter to the Maharashtra government asking to contact the chief of Shivai Trust, which runs the Shiv Sena Bhavan, for clarity on how a public trust's office can be used for political activities, which is illegal.

"How can a public trust's office be used for political activities for several decades? If such a use is in breach of the trust's objectives, why can't the trustees be suspended or removed and why a new administrator should not be appointed?" the law firm, Yashas Legal, said in the letter to the Maharashtra Law and Judiciary Department.

The Supreme Court is yet to give its verdict on another request made last year by Team Thackeray to disqualify 16 Sena MLAs, who were part of the group that revolted against him in June 2022. In this context, Mr Thackeray has called the Election Commission's order "unfair".