Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, has sacked Sanjay Raut as the leader of its parliamentary party and appointed Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar as his successor.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, Shinde, who is chief leader of the Shiv Sena, said Kirtikar has been appointed as the leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party.
Shiv Sena leaders on Thursday felicitated Kirtikar at the parliamentary party office located on the third floor of the Parliament building.
Of the 18 Shiv Sena members in the Lok Sabha, four have their loyalties with Uddhav Thackeray, who lost control of the party to Shinde.
Eknath Shinde had split the Shiv Sena last year accusing Thackeray of compromising with the core ideals of the party and joining hands with arch rivals Congress and NCP to form the government in Maharashtra.
Last month, the Election Commission recognised the Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena and allocated the name and the poll symbol to it.
The Shiv Sena has three members in the Rajya Sabha – Sanjay Raut, Anil Desai and Priyanka Chaturvedi who owe their allegiance to Uddhav Thackeray.