Updated: Jul 19
Narhari Zirwal, the deputy speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, said on Thursday that he had given his approval for the selection of Ajay Choudhary to lead the Shiv Sena's group in the House in place of dissident lawmaker Eknath Shinde.
After Shinde rebelled and traveled to Surat, Gujarat, with some Shiv Sena MLAs, sparking a crisis in the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA—comprising the Sena, NCP, and Congress) administration in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday ousted Shinde as the party's group leader in the Assembly.
Virtual told reporters on Thursday that he had received a letter from the Shiv Sena announcing the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as the party's leader in the Assembly and the immediate removal of Shinde from his position.
The deputy speaker said that Shinde's removal as the Sena group leader in the Assembly was genuine and added, "I have acknowledged the letter, which was provided by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Notably, on Wednesday, Shinde handed the deputy speaker of the Assembly a letter signed by 35 Sena legislators, replacing Sunil Prabhu as the Shiv Sena legislative party's chief whip with Bharat Gogavale. When questioned about Shinde's letter, Zirwal responded that The Independents play no part in such internal party matters.
Nitin Deshmukh, a Shiv Sena MLA who traveled to Surat with the rebel leader, has asserted that he did not sign Shinde's letter. I'll research it, consult with legal professionals, and then make a decision (on it).
Deshmukh asserted on Wednesday that he was forcedly brought to a Surat hospital and given injections, even though he had never experienced a heart attack.
Deshmukh, an MLA from Balapur in the Akola district, spoke to the media at the Nagpur airport and expressed gratitude to Sena head Uddhav Thackeray for helping him return safely to Maharashtra from Surat.
Deshmukh's wife had complained to the Akola police on Tuesday, saying her husband had vanished.