As the Maharashtra political crisis continued, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar on Sunday said they have a majority and are ready to face a floor test in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Kesarkar said that apart from Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Higher and Technical Education Uday Samant, one or two more MLAs will join them.
"One, two more MLAs will come. With the support of our associate party and Independent MLAs, our strength will increase to 51," he said.
Reacting to Sanjay Raut who took a potshot at the Eknath Shinde-led faction of rebel MLAs and asked how long they will hide in Guwahati, Kesarkar said he speaks in an indecent language.
"His language is indecent. I didn't make such type of statement. He was our leader. This is very bad. Your numbers have decreased and now you will say anything. It is not acceptable," he said.
Earlier, Raut in a tweet said, "Kab tak chhipoge Gauhati mein...Aana hi padega Chowpatty mein (How long will you hide in Guwahati, you have to come back to Chowpatty)."
The political turbulence in Maharashtra was triggered by the faction war in Shiv Sena after Minister Eknath Shinde flew to Surat with some MLAs and then to Guwahati where he claims to have the support of 38 MLAs of the party, thus achieving the two-thirds majority in the Shiv Sena.
According to sources, Maharashtra deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal has sent notices to the 16 Shiv Sena rebel MLAs. The MLAs have to be present in Mumbai on Monday for the hearing of disqualification.
Notably, Zirwal has earlier approved the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader, replacing Shinde, the state cabinet minister who rebelled against the Shiv Sena leadership.
Zirwal also turned down the Shinde camp's suggestion to appoint rebel Shiv Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip of the legislature party in place of Sunil Prabhu.
"When the court will reject the wrong decision given by the Deputy Speaker against us, then we will go. We are ready to move to the court against the wrong decision taken by the Deputy Speaker," Kesarkar said.
"They had taken a wrong decision. How only 16 people can take a decision of a 55-member party. It has needed a two-thirds majority to break the party and has needed at least 50 per cent to change the leadership," he added.
"Our decision will come out in the next 3-4 days and after that, we will directly go to Maharashtra," he said.
He further said that their leader Eknath Shinde has assured all protection and care to MLAs.
"He (Eknath Shinde) has assured to protect us. He is also worried about it. The Governor today has given Y security and and protection to all our houses. We are happy with this," Kesarkar said. (ANI)