Maharashtra Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s loyalist and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday challenged the party’s rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde to a floor test in the assembly, while also saying that their chance of returning to the Sena was not lost. is not. On their demand that Shiv Sena should break up with the NCP and Congress to form a government with the BJP, Rajya Sabha member said: “You (the rebels) must merge with the BJP. Shiv Sena remains our party . ”
The Shiv Sena-led regime is on the verge of a collapse as the rebel camp is amassing the numbers needed to divide the party without facing action under the anti-waste law.
Mr Raut spoke to techlives and reacted vehemently to the question of whether Uddhav Thackeray would remain prime minister: “Let all the MPs come to the floor of the House. We will see then. These MPs who are gone … they will find it difficult to return and move around in Maharashtra. “
Asked if there were any talks with the rebels, Mr Raut said: “They are all our friends … We do not know what their coercion is. The party and the state are with Uddhav Thackeray. Just because some MPs are gone does not mean the party is gone. ”
“In the times of Balasaheb Thackeray, many people also left the party,” he said, referring to Uddhav Thackeray’s father, party founder Bal Thackeray. “We rebuilt the party and then also brought it to power. And now it is an open challenge of Uddhav ji and me, that we will rebuild the party again; and we will come to power again.”
He also responded to the Shinde camp’s allegations that the prime minister’s house ‘Varsha’ remained out of bounds for party lawmakers: “These are just excuses. For a year there were Covid restrictions; and then Prime Minister Thackeray was for six months ill. “
Mr Raut said Eknath Shinde was part of every decision in the party and the government. “In the party and the state cabinet, he was given important positions so that he would keep the leaders and workers together. Uddhav-ji or he alone could not do everything; it was a collective responsibility. Instead of doing his duty, he created a division in the party. “
He said he would repeat Mr Thackeray’s position that “whoever wants to leave can leave, but go and win the election again”. “This land belongs to Shiv Sena and Balasaheb … We will rise again like the phoenix and rise. We have seen several battles in the last 56 years. What is the worst that can happen?”
“Maybe we will lose the government, lose power, lose ministerial posts – what else can happen in politics? You will abuse the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) against us, put us in jail. “What more? Will you shoot us? We have seen everything and we fear nothing,” said Mr Raut.