Mumbai, June 24 (Agency)
Amid the rebellion of Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut said on Friday that the party’s strength in the Maharashtra Assembly has come down, although he expressed hope that the rebel MLAs will join the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of the state during the floor test. Will support the government. “The numbers can change any time,” Raut said, adding that the loyalty of the rebel MLAs to the party would be tested only after returning to Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena leader also hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narayan Rane for “threatening” Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. However, during this time he did not take anyone’s name. Shinde, who rebelled against Shiv Sena, is currently in a hotel in Guwahati along with 37 party MLAs and nine independents. Talking to reporters, Raut admitted that the party’s strength in the assembly has been reduced due to the rebellion. “The rebel faction has claimed to have sufficient numbers and democracy runs on numbers. But the numbers can change at any time. When the rebel MLAs return, their loyalty to Balasaheb Thackeray and Shiv Sena will be tested. Raut said that it is a legal battle, there are some rules and there are guidelines of the Supreme Court. “The MVA is united… We hope the rebels will support the MVA during the floor test in the House,” he said.
Earlier in the conversation, he had said that the party is waiting for the rebel MLAs to return to Mumbai. He had said, “Chief Minister Udvav Thackeray hopes that most of the rebel MLAs will return to the party. The rebels will have to return to Mumbai and meet the Governor, after which the MLAs will be counted and the trust vote will be held. Raut also took a jibe at Union Minister Narayan Rane for ‘threatening’ Sharad Pawar in a tweet. Without naming anyone, he said, “Does the BJP allow this kind of language? Governments will come and go but Maharashtra will not tolerate this type of language against Sharad Pawar.
On Thursday, Rane had hit out at Pawar, saying he was threatening the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs and if anything happens to him in the Maharashtra Assembly, he will have to face the consequences.