Mumbai / Aaditya, Desai or Shinde: Shiv Sena likely to pick legislature party leader on Thursday

Hindustan Times : Oct 31, 2019, 11:30 AM

Even as the Shiv Sena continues its tussle with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over government formation, the newly-elected Sena legislators are likely to pick their legislature party leader on Thursday.

While an overwhelming number of legislators want party youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray to be the Sena leader on the floor of the Assembly and indirectly take up the responsibility of deputy chief minister, the party leadership was undecided till Wednesday evening.

A senior Sena leader said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was not keen to appoint his son, Aaditya, as the head of the legislative unit. He also did not want Aaditya to take up the responsibility as the deputy chief minister or a minister immediately and instead want him to spend some time to understand how the legislature and government function.

“Uddhavji is of the opinion that Aaditya should take some time and watch how the government functions. He can join the government after two years or so,” said the leader.

However, other members of the Thackeray family and some senior leaders want him to take up the challenge. The decision would be taken by Thursday at the meeting at the party office, Sena Bhavan.

“We want Aaditya Thackeray to be elected as the leader of legislature,” said party leader and minister Ravindra Waikar, who is also the MLA from Jogeshwari in Mumbai.

In the event of Aaditya not taking up the leadership, senior leader Subhash Desai and Thane Sena strongman Eknath Shinde have emerged as frontrunners.

Meanwhile, Thackeray is expected to gauge the mood of legislators on supporting the government.

The Sena has been insisting on equal share of power to form the government with the BJP, but it indicated that it would soften the stand.

A majority of Sena legislators want the party to be in power with the BJP, but also want a bigger share of ministerial berths and key portfolios.