Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has sacked former minister Vijay Shivtare for "anti-party activities". Talking to reporters in Pune after his expulsion, Shivtare said the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is the "real" Shiv Sena.
"No one in Shiv Sena was happy over the decision to join hands with Congress in 2019 (after polls when Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed). The party upholding Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva was the real Shiv Sena," said Shivtare, who had served as a minister in the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis-led government (2014-19).
Balasaheb Thackeray had said that he would wrap up Sena rather than go with Congress, he said. Shivtare said he holds Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in high esteem but the "undercurrent of resentment" in the Sena over the allying with Congress cannot be ignored.
He cited the example of the Kolhapur north Assembly bypoll held earlier this year to claim that Shiv Sena's voter base was affected as the Congress candidate won by defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by a margin of over 18,000 votes.
The Congress candidate was fielded by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of which the Sena is the main constituent. In that bypoll, the Congress candidate bagged 96,000 votes, 5,000 more than the votes polled in the 2019 Assembly elections.