Mumbai: Amid rumours of deflecting to the BJP, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday said he will never “cheat for power” and abandon the teachings of Bal Thackeray. Around the time Shinde made the statement, Shiv Sena sacked him as the party’s chief whip.
Following Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, he has been sacked as the party’s chief whip and has been replaced by MLA Ajay Chaudhary.
Shinde’s statement comes amidst reports of the 22 rebel MLAs joining the BJP. However, Shinde has refuted all claims with this statement. Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil has also confirmed the same saying that no communication has taken place between the ‘rebels’ and the BJP.
“We are staunch Shiv Sainiks of Balasaheb who gave us lessons on Hindutva. We will never cheat for power and will never abandon the teachings of Balasaheb and Anand Dighe for power,” Shinde tweeted in Marathi, his first reaction on the ongoing political crisis triggered by him in the state.
The late Dighe, a Shiv Sena stalwart from Thane, was the political mentor of Shinde.
Shinde and a few MLAs of the ruling Shiv Sena have gone incommunicado and are camping in Surat, a move putting a question mark on the stability of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dispensation also comprising NCP and Congress.
Despite being sacked as the party’s chief whip, no communication has taken place between the BJP and Shinde or the other ‘rebel’ MLAs, so far.
“It’s too early to say anything, we’re currently waiting and keeping an eye on the situation. Nor Eknath Shinde has sent a proposal to BJP for govt formation neither BJP has sent any proposal to him,” said Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.
(The story has been edited with inputs from the News Desk)