As Shinde camp swells, Raut says 'in touch with rebels'

As Eknath Shinde's camp swells, Sanjay Raut says 'in touch with rebels'

On Wednesday evening, four MLAs, including Maharashtra minister Gulabrao Patil, had flown to Guwahati

Police personnel guard outside a hotel as a rebel Shiv Sena MLA arrives to join other dissident MLAs, in Guwahati, Thursday, June 23, 2022. Credit: PTI Photo

As the rebel Shiv Sena camp led by Eknath Shinde garnered more numbers to split the legislature party and topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit said that many of them holed up in Guwahati were in touch with Mumbai leaders.

The MVA still hopes that the two-and-a-half-year-old government would be saved. 

“Let them go…some MPs, MLAs and corporations going out does not mean that the party is broken….let me tell you around 18-20 of the MLAs in Guwahati are in touch with us,” Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said. 

Also Read — Shinde rebellion a fatal blow to Maharashtra coalition

“If there is a floor test you will come to know who is negative and who is positive,” he said, adding that the loyal Shiv Sainiks are with Thackeray and they will fight till their last breath. 

“What you saw last night is real Shiv Sena,” he added, referring to the people pouring on the streets amid rainfall when Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and their sons Aaditya and Tejas - left Varsha, the official bungalow of CM to their private home Matoshree. 

Meanwhile, reports reaching Mumbai from Guwahati said that the numbers in the Guwahati camp continue to swell and as of now there are 50-plus MLAs of Shiv Sena and Independents. Those who have switched sides include half a dozen ministers. 

Also Read | Eknath Shinde’s rebellion a fatal blow to Maharashtra coalition experiment 

The Shiv Sena currently has 55 MLAs and Shinde would need 37 MLAs to form and recognise a new group and escape the anti-defection law. 

The rebels have made it clear that Shiv Sena leadership must break ties with NCP-Congress and exit the MVA. However, they have maintained silence on whether they propose to go with BJP and form the government. 

“We are Shiv Sainiks and we have not left Shiv Sena,” said Shinde.

 

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