Mumbai: Claiming of being in touch with 20 MLAs from the Eknath Shinde camp in Guwahati, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that everyone will see when the floor test happens, adding that those who leave party under pressure from ED are not a real follower of Balasaheb Thackeray.
Amid political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, Raut further claimed that the party is still strong and that the rebels are not true “bhakts” (devotees) of Bal Thackeray.
Taking a dig at Eknath Shinde, Raut said, “We are with Balasaheb Thackeray work under Uddhav Thackeray, I support Balasaheb Thackeray and I follow Balasaheb Thackeray this type of statement won’t prove you that you are real follower of Balasaheb. They have fear of ED.”
“I won’t talk about any camp, I will talk about my party. Our party is strong even to this day…About 20 MLAs are in touch with us…when they come to Mumbai, you will get to know…will soon be revealed, in what circumstances, pressure these MLAs left us,” said Raut.
He said that party leader Nitin Deshmukh, who returned to Nagpur from Surat on Wednesday and alleged abduction attempts, will hold a press conference.
“CM won’t hold any meeting today, some MLAs are going to Varsha Bungalow for official work. Nitin Deshmukh will hold a press conference,” said Raut.
“Some MLAs run and they think they are lions but we saw a lion yesterday when Uddhav Thackeray goes to ‘matoshree’ and we saw Shiv Sanik they are real Shiv Sanik. If some MLAs go then it does not prove that government is destroyed,” he said.
He further slammed Eknath Shinde for leaving the party under Enforcement Directorate (ED) pressure and said that they continue to stand with Uddhav Thackeray.
“He who leaves the party under ED pressure is not a true Balasaheb Bhakt. We’re true Balasaheb Bhakts…even though we have ED pressure but will continue to stand with Uddhav Thackeray…When floor test happens everyone will see who’s positive and who is negative,” he added.
The Shiv Sena MP further said, “17 to 18 MLAs are detained by BJP party, in BJP states this MLAs are detained.”
Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday held a party meeting amid political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.
Notably, a total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs are present with Eknath Shinde at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. This includes 34 MLAs from Shiv Sena and eight Independent MLAs, informed sources.
Seven more MLAs have joined the rebel group of MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati on Thursday morning further deepening the political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
They reached the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, where other MLAs are campaigning. Last night four more MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati.
Moreover, a resolution passed by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party carrying signatures of 34 MLAs that rebel leader Eknath Shinde continues to be the leader, has been sent to the state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Additionally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray left his official residence ‘Varsha’ along with his family members on Wednesday hours after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.
Shiv Sena workers and supporters showered petals and raised slogans in support of Thackeray when he left with his family from his official residence ‘Versha Bungalow’, last night amid political instability in the state.
Following the political crisis, Shiv Sena had removed Eknath Shinde as the party’s legislative party leader. However, the rebels have hit back with the resolution.
The resolution said that Shiv Sena’s ideology has been compromised in the past two years. They also expressed their dissatisfaction with “corruption in government,” referring to Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are currently in jail.
“Bharat Gogawale has been appointed as the Chief Whip of Shiv Sena Legislative Party. So, the order issued by Sunil Prabhu, regarding the Legislative Party meeting this evening is illegal,” Eknath Shinde had said.
Earlier, Thackeray addressed the people of the state via Facebook and said he was willing to give his resignation to party MLAs who can take it to Raj Bhavan.
Noting that a section of party MLAs was gunning for his ouster, he said instead of going to Surat, they could have conveyed their feelings to him. Thackeray said it is a matter of shame for him if “even a single MLA” was against him.
“If any MLA wants me to not continue as the CM, I am ready to take all my belongings from Varsha Bungalow (official residence of the CM) to Matoshri,” Thackeray said.
“I am ready to give my resignation to the MLAs, they should come here and take my resignation to Raj Bhavan. I am ready to leave the post of Shiv Sena party head also, not on the saying of others but my workers,” he added.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut expressed confidence of Shiv Sena sailing through the crisis.
“Uddhav Thackeray is Maharashtra Chief Minister and he will remain the CM. If we get the chance, we will prove our majority on the floor of the House,” he said.
However, the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs have said that there is enormous discontent amongst the party workers for forming the government with NCP and Indian National Congress on account of different ideologies.