Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs on Saturday evening flew to Mumbai from Goa by a chartered flight. Shinde, who had flown to Goa in the morning, accompanied them back
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and rebel Shiv Sena MLAs leave from the airport, after arriving from Goa, in Mumbai. Pic/Satej Shinde
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who support Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde returned to Mumbai from Goa on Saturday evening on the eve of a special two-day session of the state legislature which will see election for the post of Assembly Speaker as well as a floor test of the new government.
This comes after Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday expelled Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the party for indulging in "anti-party activities".
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs on Saturday evening flew to Mumbai from Goa by a chartered flight. Shinde, who had flown to Goa in the morning, accompanied them back.
The rebel Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLAs and Independents were taken to a hotel in south Mumbai in heavy security after they returned to the city from Goa in a special flight on Saturday night, police official told PTI.
The MLAs were camping at a starred hotel in Dona Paula since June 29 after flying to Goa from Guwahati. Many of them had left Maharashtra on June 21 along with Shinde.
After landing in Mumbai, the rebel MLAs would be staying in a hotel before they attend the special session on Sunday morning, sources told PTI.
In Mumbai, security had been tightened at the airport to avoid any untoward incident in the wake of the recent violent protests against rebel MLAs by Shiv Sena cadres in some parts of the state.
"In exercise of powers vested in me as Shiv Sena party president, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation," Thackeray wrote in a letter addressed to the Maharashtra CM, who had led a faction of rebel Sena MLAs.
Earlier in the day, Sena MLA and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Rajan Salvi filed his nomination as the candidate of the Shiv Sena-NCP- Congress coalition for the Speaker's election, which will be held on Sunday.
He will face off with first-time BJP legislator Rahul Narvekar who also filed his nomination.
On July 4, newly sworn-in Chief Minister Shinde will take a floor test.
On Wednesday, Thackeray resigned as chief minister after the Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test ordered by the governor and it became apparent that Shinde had support of the majority of Sena MLAs.
Shinde took oath as CM the next day with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
The post of Assembly Speaker has been lying vacant since Nana Patole of Congress resigned in February 2021 to become his party's state unit president. Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal was officiating as acting Speaker in the meantime.
(With inputs from PTI)