Mumbai: Amid a rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra if the group of rebel legislators camping in Assam returns to Mumbai in 24 hours and discusses the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Sena and nine independents in Guwahati, which has plunged the party-led state government into a crisis. The NCP and Congress also share power in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation.
"You say you are real Shiv Sainiks and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut told reporters here.
"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks...Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added.
CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra
Money Laundering Case: Udhhav Aide Parab Appears Before ED
Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Thursday for the third day in a row in connection with a money laundering case registered against him by the agency.
The ED has been questioning him in the money laundering probe linked to the alleged violation of coastal regulation zone provisions in the construction of Sai resort in Dapoli beach area of Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district, he said.
Earlier, the ED had questioned Parab for more than six hours on Wednesday and for over 10 hours on Tuesday.
Parab, 57, is a three-time member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council and holds the transport and parliamentary affairs portfolios.
Rebel Sena MLA writes to Thackeray; Backs Shinde
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, claiming that state minister Eknath Shinde took the step of going against the party leadership as Sena MLAs, who faced "humilitation" for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.
While the Shiv Sena legislators had no access to the chief minister, the Congress and NCP, which are the "real opponents" of the Sena, were getting all the attention, he claimed in the letter, dated June 22.
The Sena shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.
Shirsat, the MLA from Aurangabad (West) Assembly constituency, in the letter claimed that despite the Shiv Sena being in power and having its own chief minister, the coterie around Thackeray never allowed them access to 'Varsha', the CM's official residence.
The letter was posted by Shinde on his Twitter handle, claiming these were the sentiments of the Sena MLAs.
Shinde is currently camping with some rebel MLAs in Assam's Guwahati city.
In the letter, Shirsat said Eknath Shinde opened doors for the party MLAs to listen to their grievances, issues about development work in their constituencies and related fund, and problems with allies Congress and NCP.
"Only Shinde heard us out and took steps to resolve all the problems. The party MLAs persuaded Shinde to take this step (of revolt) for the rights of all the legislators," Shirsat said in the letter.
While the Shiv Sena legislators had no access to the chief minister, the Congress and NCP, which are the "real opponents" of the Shiv Sena, were getting all the attention, he claimed.
"The Shiv Sena votes did not split in the Rajya Sabha polls, then why so much distrust in us for the Legislative Council polls?" he asked.