Mumbai: Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, rebel Shiv Sena leader and state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the alleged ‘malicious’ withdrawal of security of family members of the 38 MLAs camping with him in a Guwahati hotel.
In his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, Shinde claimed that the security provided to the MLAs at their residence as well as to their family members as per the protocol has been illegally and unlawfully withdrawn, as an act of revenge.
“Needless to mention, this sinister move is another attempt to break our resolve and arm-twist us to give in to the demands of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprising of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress goons,” he said.
He said the threats due to which the MLAs were forced to leave Maharashtra have been compounded by “these actions on the part of MVA leaders”.
“We further state that not only the security of our families and relatives have been compromised by removing the security personnel but also there is an ongoing agenda wherein various lenders of the MVA government are instigating the cadres of their respective parties to take up violence to further intimidate us,” he said.
Shinde alleged that Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut threatened the MLAs by stating that he would make it difficult for the MLAs who have left to return to Maharashtra and move around in the state.
He said the impact of Raut’s statements was borne by two MLAs as their offices were vandalized by the carders of Shiv Sena merely after hours of withdrawing the security from MLAs.
Drawing the example of Punjab, Shinde said “the same scenario had happened in Punjab where the security of several high profile persona was removed by the state government due to which most of the high profile people became targets of gangsters/goons in the state and the withdrawal of security from MLAs is likely to create a similar impact in the state of Maharashtra as well.”
“We state and demand that the security which we are entitled to under protocol should be provided to our families with immediate effect. We further state that if any harm were to come to our family members, the Chief Minister and the leaders of the MVA government like Sharad Pawar, Sanjay Raut and Aditya Thackrey will be responsible for the same,” he added.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil refuted Shinde’s claim of withdrawal of security.
“Neither the Chief Minister nor the Home Department has ordered the withdrawal of security of any MLA. The allegations being levelled through Twitter are false and completely baseless,” said Patil.
Shinde along with 38 party MLAs and nine independent MLAs are campaigning at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam from June 22.
Notably, CM Uddhav Thackeray has called a meeting of the party’s national executive committee on Saturday. The meeting will be held in Shiv Sena Bhavan which the Chief Minister will join virtually.
Besides, Shinde has also called a meeting at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati on Saturday afternoon to discuss further strategy, said sources.
Eknath Shinde faction, earlier on Friday, gave notice of a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narhari Jhirwal after the Uddhav Thackeray faction submitted a plea before the deputy speaker to disqualify the rebel MLAs.
On the other hand, Thackeray convened a meeting of the district chiefs virtually wherein he said that the rebel MLAs who are camping in Guwahati wanted to “break the party”.