Updated: June 29, 2022 7:20:58 am
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday made an emotional appeal to rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena, who are camping in Guwahati, to return to the party and have a dialogue with him to sort out issues. He also said that he was “worried” about them. This came on a day when Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said that the rebel MLAs will soon return to Mumbai and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis visited Delhi to meet party president J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.
In his appeal to the rebels, Thackeray said, “You have been stuck in Guwahati for the last few days. Every day, new information is coming forth about you and many of you are in touch with us. You are still in Shiv Sena in your heart. The family members of some of you have also contacted me and conveyed their feelings to me. I respect your feelings as the head of Shiv Sena family. As the head of the family, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, there is still time.”
The appeal came a day after the Supreme Court issued an interim order giving relief to the rebel camp after 16 of its MLAs were issued disqualification notices by the deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly.
Addressing the rebels, Thackeray asked them to come and sit in front of him. “… Don’t fall prey to anyone’s missteps and false assurances.”
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After Thackeray’s appeal, Shinde took to Twitter and said, “On one hand, your son and spokesperson are calling Balasaheb’s Shiv Sainiks as pigs, dirt, buffalo, dogs, illiterate and corpses, abusing our fathers, and on the other hand you are calling the same MLAs to save the anti-Hindu MVA government. What is the meaning of this?”
Thackeray’s appeal did not seem to have any impact on the rebel MLAs. Deepak Kesarkar, a rebel MLA told The Indian Express that the appeal does not make any sense now. “We have already presented our side to the CM and today also, we are firm on our demand that first they should come out of the MVA… after that we will come for discussion. We respect them (Thackeray) but first they should come out of MVA, then call us for discussion and we will come.”
Bharat Gogawale, another MLA and the chief whip appointed by the Shinde camp, added, “It is very late now… nothing can happen.” He further said that Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut’s statements have ruined everything. “He should know what to say in such a situation,” Gogawale said.
The rebel MLAs also said that the Thackeray camp has not been consistent in its stand and approach towards them.
In fact, contradictions can be seen in the statements issued by various Sena leaders in Mumbai over the last week. On June 24, Thackeray, while addressing party workers, had said that “those who have gone were never his and had betrayed him”.
Over the last week, Aaditya and Raut had made several objectionable statements against the rebel MLAs. While Aaditya had referred to them as “dirt” and “traitors” in his address to Yuva Sena cadres on June 25, while addressing a rally on Sunday, Raut had called the rebels “dogs”, “buffaloes”, “thief” and “living corpse”.
Also on June 26, Aaditya had said that the door of the party is closed for the rebel MLAs. A day before, hinting that the MLAs will have to face Mumbaikars and the Shiv Sainiks on their arrival.
The MLAs in Guwahati, meanwhile, said that the leadership in Mumbai is not clear of what it wants and should take a clear stand. “You cannot have it both ways,” said a senior rebel MLA.
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