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'Delhi wants to destroy Shiv Sena', alleges Sanjay Raut after EC asks Thackeray, Shinde factions to prove control of party

Mumbai: After the Election Commission of India asked Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde to submit documentary evidence to prove their majority in Shiv Sena, Sanjay Raut on Saturday, while recalling party founder Bal Thackeray's idea of Hindutva behind the formation of the outfit, alleged that "Delhi wants to destroy" the party.

"It's shocking for Maharashtra's people. Balasaheb Thackeray formed the party 56 years ago, thinking about Hindutva and EC is raising questions about his organisation. Delhi wants to destroy our party. Uddhav Thackeray is the only leader of Shiv Sena today," Raut said. Notably, the Thackeray and Shinde factions had approached the EC to stake claim over Shiv Sena.

The EC sent to the Thackeray camp the letter written to the EC by the Shinde faction and the Thackeray camp's letter to the Shinde faction and sought replies from both the camps by August 8.
The poll body would hear the claims made by both the factions after receiving the reply from both sides.
The Shinde faction, which gained power with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has 40 out of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs. It has requested the EC to recognize the faction as the 'real' Shiv Sena while also urging the poll body to allocate the bow-and-arrow poll symbol to the faction.

In another jolt to the Uddhav faction in Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday accepted the demand of the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena to change the party leader in the House. Now the leader of Shiv Sena in the house will be Rahul Shewale.
12 Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena met the Lok Sabha Speaker and requested him to change the leader of the party in the lower house of Parliament.

Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shawale said that a letter to change the party leader in the lower house of Parliament has been sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker as he will be giving recognition to the party, once legal actions are taken.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday posted for hearing on August 1 the petitions filed by both factions of the Shiv Sena relating to the control of the party and the recent political crisis in Maharashtra which brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi (Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP) government in the state. (ANI)

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