Just days after senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi fell in line after criticising the leadership, the party got a nasty jolt.
Former Lok Sabha MP Mohan Rawle slammed party president Uddhav Thackeray and his controversial personal assistant Milind Narvekar, claiming that the Sena chief Bal Thackeray had wanted Narvekar expelled from the party. Rawle, the Sena’s longest serving MP and former bodyguard of Thackeray Sr, rose through the ranks as a leader of the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena. He was expelled within minutes of his revolt in an attempt to snub out any more dissent in the rank and file.
“In a meeting of Shiv Sena leaders, Balasaheb had called for Narvekar to be expelled as he was destroying the Shiv Sena,” Rawle told dna, daring party leaders to deny his claim while standing before the Sena chief’s samadhi. He said Thackeray had nixed Narvekar’s likely nomination to the state legislative council by threatening to resign if the plan went through. Rawle, a Lok Sabha MP from 1991 to 2009, alleged that the Sena was becoming a “party of agents”. Rawle, who is said to be miffed at being ignored in the party, had sparked off speculations after he met MNS chief Raj Thackeray recently.
A Sena legislator said such disputes within the party could increase in days to come. “While Rawle has been expelled, why has action not been taken against rebel MP from Kalyan, Anand Paranjape, who is openly with the NCP?” questioned a Sainik.
He added that the lack of a link between Uddhav and the Sainiks in the party was one of the root causes of such problems.