"We Are The Shiv Sena": Camp Shinde Tells Supreme Court

"Today we are not leaving Shiv Sena. We are the Shiv Sena. We have 39 out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs with us," the Shinde faction told the Supreme Court.

'We Are The Shiv Sena': Camp Shinde Tells Supreme Court

Uddhav Thackeray is the leader of a "hopeless minority", Eknath Shinde contended.

New Delhi:

The rebel Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde today declared in the top court that they are the real Sena and portrayed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as the leader of a "hopeless minority" trying to cling onto power.

This is not the first time Mr Shinde has tried to portray his faction as the real Sena. But this is the first tie he claimed it from such a high platform. The Thackeray faction has written to Election Commission, pre-empting the possibility of his claiming the name of party founder and Mr Thackeray's Balasaheb Thackeray and the party symbol.

This evening, the Supreme Court was holding an emergency hearing of Thackeray faction's challenge of the Governor's order for a floor test. The Shinde faction was defending the decision, contending that the Governor was within his rights to call for a floor test when the Sena has been reduced to a minority.

Claiming that they are the real Shiv Sena, Mr Shinde's counsel NK Kaul said, "Today we are not leaving Shiv Sena. We are the Shiv Sena. We have 39 out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs with us".

The Thackeray faction, he claimed, is scared of losing the floor test. "They are a hopeless minority within the party and just wants to clutch on to power by any means possible," he submitted.

Mr Shinde's argument is that Mr Thackeray has just managed to dilute the Hindutva ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray  with his alliance with ideologically incompatible parties like the Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party.

Mr Thackeray has time and again contended that his father's brand of Hindutva was different from the version currently being practiced.  Most of his statements were directed at the BJP, which has repeatedly challenged the Sena on the matter.

At the height of the Hanuman Chalissa row in April, Mr Thackeray, in a rare outburst, had said: "For the last few days, they (the BJP) have been screaming that the Shiv Sena has left Hindutva. What have we left? Is Hindutva a dhoti? That we put it on and take it off?""

"We must remember one thing. Those who are lecturing us on Hindutva must ask themselves what they have done for Hindutva," added the Chief Minister, whose party ended the 35-yer alliance with the BJP in 2019.

.