Thane: Thane Guardian Minister Shambhuraj Desai on Wednesday challenged Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to resign from Rajya Sabha and get re-elected, claiming that the legislators of the undivided Sena had voted for him then.
Desai was talking to the media here after attending a district planning committee meeting here.
His comments come amid a bitter exchange between the Sena’s two factions after ex-minister Aadtiya Thackeray dared Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to contest against him from Worli in Mumbai.
Desai said all Sena MLAs had followed party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s diktat to back Raut, now a fierce critic of the Shinde faction.
“He had given us specific instructions on the voting for the MP elections which we meticulously followed. Let him (Raut) resign now and win the elections to the Rajya Sabha,” said Desai.
The Sena split after a rebellion by Shinde, who joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party to become the CM. He now leads the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS), while Uddhav Thackeray is the head of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
The BSS on Tuesday termed as “childish” Aaditya Thackeray’s comments challenging Shinde to contest from the Worli assembly seat.
On the tussle between the groups over the Sena’s name and symbol (bow and arrow), Desai, who belongs to BSS, said they will abide by the Election Commission’s decision.
Desai said he will meet the CM and try to get more funds for the Thane district. They have sought Rs 850 crore for the district in fiscal 2023-24, he said.
Model schools, which are a success in Sangli and Satara districts, will be replicated in Thane as well, he said.
Modular operation theatres will be set up in 10 government hospitals in the district, said the guardian minister.