Rebel leader Shiv Sena Eknath Shinde on Tuesday said he would soon return to Mumbai, denying Sena’s allegations that up to 20 MLAs from his group are in contact with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Speaking to reporters outside the luxury hotel where he and his group of MLAs have been staying since last week, Shinde also said he has the support of 50 MLAs. “All these MLAs have come here on their own and move forward in Hindutva,” said Shinde. Senior Sena leaders have claimed that about 20 MLAs from the party, now with Shendi in Guwahati, are in contact with them and want to return to Maharashtra.
Shendi said, “Some people from this side claim that some MLAs here have been in contact with them. If so, they should reveal their names.” “Our position is clear…to move forward with Shiv Sena, dreamed up by the late Palasaheb Thackeray. We will continue to follow his Hindutva line.
Shinde said Sina MLA Deepak Kesarkar will speak to the media on behalf of the rebel legislators and brief reporters on their next steps. “You don’t have to worry about MLAs here. All MLAs are happy and well. Nobody is here for any personal benefit.
Since landing in Guwahati, Assam, Shinde has mostly stayed indoors. On Tuesday, he walked out of the hotel, where he was camping, with two of those close to him to make a brief statement.
Uday Samant, Minister of Shiv Sena, who is also part of the rebel camp, said that none of the Guwahati-based lawmakers had contact with any party leader in Mumbai.
“We are not in contact with any of the Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai. We are only in contact with Eknath Shinde,” Samant said in a pre-recorded video statement.
“No need to misunderstand. We came here voluntarily with Shinde, who sincerely pushed forward the Hindutva idea envisioned by Balasaheb Thackeray,” he added.