‘I am with Thackeray’: Sena rebel MLA returns; claims he was kidnapped

Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh, who was previously believed to have joined renegade Sena leader Eknath Shinde, has reemerged and voiced his support for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a stunning development amid the political upheaval in Maharashtra. He claimed to have been “kidnapped” and brought to Surat, Gujarat, where he managed to flee.

Following his return from Nagpur to Surat, “100-150 Policemen took me to a hospital and pretended as I’ve suffered an attack. They wanted to operate on me, harm me under that pretext. By God’s grace, I’m alright. I am with Uddhav Thackeray,” said Deshmukh.

Deshmukh’s wife, Pranjali, had filed a written complaint with the Akola police station alleging that she last spoke to her husband on the phone at 7 o’clock on June 20 and hadn’t been able to reach him since he turned off his phone.

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