Shiv Sena, which is battling factionalism within the party leading to a huge political crisis in Maharashtra, has claimed that 21 rebel MLAs who are camping in Guwahati under Eknath Shinde have contacted the party.
Raut on Thursday said that Uddhav Thackeray, who vacated the official residence of the chief minister on Wednesday night, "will return to Varsha Bungalow very soon".
"Uddhav Thackeray will come back to Varsha Bungalow very soon. 21 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted us and when they return to Mumbai, they will be with us," said Raut.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP, Vinayak Raut claimed that at least 18 MLAs have got in touch with the party.
"At least 18 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai and several of those will return soon," the MP said.
Earlier today, Raut on Thursday said that the Shiv Sena is ready to come out of the MVA government if the rebel MLAs are willing for it.
"MLAs should not communicate from Guwahati, they should come back to Mumbai and discuss all this with CM. We are ready to consider exiting out of MVA if this is the will of all MLAs, but for that, they have to come here and discuss it with the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said Raut.
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".
According to the letter, the Shiv Sena leaders don't 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 the elected MLAs. We came with our problems in our constituencies and other work, but were made to remain outside for hours together. On the other hand,Eknath Shinde was accessible. We stood at the gates of Varsha for hours. It was only Eknath Shinde who supported us," the letter further added.
"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."
The MLAs further stated in a letter that they were stopped from going to Ayodhya during Aaditya Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya.
"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."
Notably, a total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs are present with Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde while only 13 are with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena. (ANI)