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After night-long search, minister Gulabrao Patil gives Shiv Sainiks the slip, reaches Guwahati

The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, has asked local shakha pramukhs and prominent party leaders in Mumbai to keep an eye on all the MLAs who are still in Mumbai.

Gulabrao Patil, Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation Gulabrao Patil, Mumbai news, Mumbai city news, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Maharashtra government, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsGulabrao Patil

While Shiv Sena workers have made a name for themselves in implementing the will of their political bosses on the streets of Mumbai, the current crisis initiated by Eknath Shinde has caught many of the party’s street enforcers off guard, as they face off against their own partymen.

One such instance took place on Tuesday night after reports that Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation Gulabrao Patil – who was not part of the initial groups of MLAs who went along with Shinde to Surat – had gone missing.

A Sena leader called his workers from south Mumbai with instructions from the top brass that Patil be traced at all cost.

The south Mumbai-based Sainiks, led by Shakha Pramukh Pandurang Sakpal, got on the job and launched a massive search through the night but were able to trace Patil only on Wednesday morning outside his residence in Nariman Point outside Mantralaya.

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“We got a call at 11 pm and were told to look for Patil. We looked for him everywhere possible, including the St Regis hotel in Lower Parel, but as we could not find him, we decided to camp near his official residence in the morning. We managed to get hold of him around 8.30 am on Wednesday,” said a party worker.

As soon as Sakpal saw the Jalgaon MLA, he asked him to call Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who has been trying to get in touch with the minister since Tuesday evening.

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Sources in the party said that Patil misguided the Sena workers, claiming that he had spoken to their chief. “We were told that he has some work in Mantralaya and will go to Varsha bungalow to meet the CM after that,” said a source.

However, Patil went inside Mantralaya instead of heading to Varsha, escaped in a private vehicle. A source said, “His official vehicle is still inside Mantralaya and he escaped while we were waiting for him outside the Secretariat.”

“Patil headed towards Chembur via the Eastern Express Highway… Our Sainiks also followed him but he vanished,” said a party worker.

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A source added, “He disappeared from Chembur… We believe prior arrangements had been made near Chembur from where he was taken to the airport.”

Patil was later seen with other rebel Sena MLAs in Guwahati. When contacted, Sakpal said, “Patil told me that he is coming with us but he had made up his mind, so he kept us in the dark and escaped.”

The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, has asked local shakha pramukhs and prominent party leaders in Mumbai to keep an eye on all the MLAs who are still in Mumbai. This has, however, created a sense of discomfort among many of these MLAs. One MLA, who is at present in the Thackeray camp, told The Indian Express that he was being harassed by the Sainiks.

First published on: 23-06-2022 at 12:53:34 am
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