The newly-elected Shiv Sena MLAs on Thursday (October 31) elected Eknath Shinde as the leader of the party’s legislative wing. Sunil Prabhu was elected as the chief whip of the party in the Maharashtra legislature.
Shinde, MLA from neighbouring Thane, was the leader of the house in the previous term as well, besides being a cabinet minister in the BJP-Sena government.
First-time MLA and Thackeray family scion Aaditya tabled the motion to elect Shinde as the leader of house. Pratap Sarnaik seconded the motion.
Sena sources said party chief and Aaditya’s father Uddhav Thackeray was not keen to appoint his son as the head of the Senas legislative unit.
Uddhav Thackeray was present at the meeting held at the Sena headquarters in Dadar. It was also attended by some of the independents who have extended support to the party which is locked in a tug-of-war with the ally BJP post – October 21 Maharashtra elections seeking equal sharing of the power.
The Sena has won 56 seats against the BJP’s 105. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has claimed that seven independents are supporting it. Shinde later told reporters that the MLAs had delegated the power to take decisions about government formation to Uddhav Thackeray.
“All the powers are delegated to party chief Uddhav Thackeray. We will follow whatever decision he takes,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior Sena leaders will be meeting governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today evening. Sunil Prabhu said the party delegation will request the governor to declare a “wet drought” (situation arisen due to excess rains).
“Several parts of Maharashtra have received heavy rains, damaging crops such as soybean, paddy and grapes,” he said.