As the political crisis in Maharashtra further deepened, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Thursday tweeted a letter addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and captioned it "This is the sentiment of MLAs".
Shinde shared a letter written by Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat from the Aurangabad (West) Assembly seat and dated June 22 in which he claimed that the Shiv Sena MLAs did not have access to the chief minister's residence.
"CM never used to be in the Secretariat, instead, he used to be in Matoshree (Thackeray residence). We used to call people around the CM but they never used to attend our calls. We were fed up with all these things and persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step," the MLA wrote in the letter.
"It was nice to see people are being allowed inside your Bungalow but these doors were closed for us elected MLAs. We came with our problems in our constituencies and other work, but were made to remain outside for hours together. Eknath Shinde was on the other hand was accessible. We stood at the gates of 'Varsha' for hours. It was only Eknath Shinde who supported us," the letter further added.
The letter also alleged that "People around the CM used to decide if we can meet him or not. We felt we were insulted. CM never used to be in the Secretariat, instead, he used to be in Matoshree (Thackeray residence). We used to call people around the CM but they never used to attend our calls. We were fed up with all these things and persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step."
"While we weren't able to meet the CM, people from our 'real opposition'-- the Congress and the NCP used to get opportunities to meet him and even funds were given to them related to work in their constituencies. When Hindutva and Ram Mandir are crucial issues for the party, then why did the party stop us from visiting Ayodhya? MLAs were called and were stopped from going to Ayodhya during Aaditya Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya."
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that party was still strong and that the rebels were not true "bhakts" (devotees) of Bal Thackeray adding that everyone will see that when the floor test happens. Notably, a total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs are present with Eknath Shinde at a hotel in Assam's Guwahati. This includes 34 MLAs from Shiv Sena and eight Independent MLAs, informed sources.
Moreover, a resolution passed by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party carrying signatures of 34 MLAs that rebel leader Eknath Shinde continues to be the leader, has been sent to the state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Additionally, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray left his official residence 'Varsha' along with his family members on Wednesday hours after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.
Following the political crisis, Shiv Sena had removed Eknath Shinde as the party's legislative party leader. However, the rebels have hit back with a resolution which stated that Shiv Sena's ideology has been compromised in the past two years. They also expressed their dissatisfaction with "corruption in government," referring to Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are currently in jail." (ANI)