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A day before the crucial trust vote of the Eknath Shinde-BJP government, the Uddhav Thackeray faction suffered a major setback. On Sunday night, the newly-appointed Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly removed Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary from the post of Legislature Party leader. A letter issued by Speaker Rahul Narvekar’s office reinstated Shinde as the leader of the Sena’s legislature party and appointed Bharat Gogawale from the Shinde camp as Shiv Sena’s chief whip, replacing Sunil Prabhu, belonging to the Thackeray faction.
Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary’s appointment rejected
The letter addressed to rebel Shiv Sena MLA and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan administration had received a letter on June 22 from his faction on the removal of Shinde as group leader of Shiv Sena legislature party by party chief Uddhav Thackeray. Objection was raised. After discussing the legality of the matter, the Speaker rejected the appointment of Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Choudhary as group leader of the party’s legislature wing, said the letter issued by the office of President Rahul Narvekar on Sunday night.
Bharat Gogavale will be the chief whip of the party
According to the letter, the new directive reinstates Shinde as the leader of the Shiv Sena’s House and also recognizes the appointment of Bharat Gogawale as the party’s chief whip in place of Sunil Prabhu. The development is a major setback for the Thackeray faction, which comprises 16 MLAs, who will be bound by a whip to be issued by Gogawale for Monday’s trust vote. If these 16 MLAs refuse to obey the whip, they may face disqualification.