A poster put up in support of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde at Mira Bhayandar in the Thane district of Maharashtra on June 23, 2022. The poster features the picture of Balasaheb Thackeray, the late founder of the Sena. (ANI Photo/ ANI Pic Service)
THE rebel members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) of Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena, who are led by Eknath Shinde, on Saturday (25) named their group as ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’.
The state’s former minister of state for home and rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar confirmed the news to Asian News International. The decision comes at a time when the state’s beleaguered chief minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was holding a executive meeting of the party. The Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government continues to be in a combative mode with 38 of its rebel MLAs are camping in Guwahati in the eastern state of Assam which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the Sena’s major opponents.
Sena workers ransacked the office of rebel party MLA Tanaji Sawant in Pune on Saturday. Sawant is one of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction and is currently camping in Guwahati.
“Our party workers vandalised Tanaji Sawant’s office. All traitors and rebel MLAs who have troubled our chief Uddhav Thackeray will face this type of action. Their office will also be attacked. No one will be spared,” said Sanjay More, Shiv Sena’s Pune city head.
Following this, Pune Police issued an alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at offices related to the Sena leaders in the city.
Mumbai Police also issued a high alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at all political offices in the city. It has been directed that officer-level police personnel shall visit every political office to ensure their safety.
Meanwhile, Shinde on Saturday wrote to 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 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to the MLAs at their residence as well as to their family members as per the protocol has been illegally and unlawfully withdrawn. He claimed it as an act of revenge.
However, 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.No MLA’s security has been withdrawn. Keeping in view the prevailing situation, the Home Department has decided to provide security at the residence of MLAs to keep their families safe,” he said.
Shinde, along with 38 party MLAs and nine independent MLAs, are camping at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam since June 22.
While Thackeray called a meeting of the party’s national executive committee at the Shiv Sena Bhavan which the chief minister will join virtually, Shinde has also called a meeting at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati on Saturday afternoon to discuss further strategy, said sources.
Earlier on Friday, the Shinde faction gave notice of a no-confidence motion against deputy speaker Narhari Jhirwal, after the Thackeray faction submitted a plea before the deputy speaker to disqualify the rebel MLAs.
Thackeray also convened a meeting of the district chiefs virtually wherein he said that the rebel MLAs who are camping in Guwahati want to “break the party”.