Guwahati (Assam) [India], June 25 (ANI): Expressing dissatisfaction over Shiv Sena's alliance with its "traditional rival" parties, Congress and NCP, party's rebel MLA Chimanrao Patil on Saturday said that they had urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to stitch a "natural alliance".
The leader, however, added that there was no response from the Chief Minister which is why Eknath Shinde, who is leading the faction, "took a stand".
"We are traditionally the rivals of NCP and Congress, they are our primary challengers in constituencies. We requested CM Uddhav Thackeray that natural alliance should be done," said Shiv Sena rebel MLA Chimanrao Patil in a video tweeted by Eknath Shinde.
Patil claimed that the faction has the support of two-thirds of the Shiv Sena MLAs along with 10 independents.
"As there was no response from CM, our leader Eknath Shinde took a stand because every Shiv Sena worker wants a natural alliance. Rebellion being supported by over two-thirds of Shiv Sena MLAs and 10 independents," he said.
Earlier today, Rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar told ANI that the faction has named its group 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb'. He further said that they are still with the Shiv Sena and claimed that they have a two-thirds majority.
The rebel MLA further demanded recognition for their faction and warned of going to court if it is not done and denied the role of the BJP behind their revolt.
Addressing a press conference virtually, Kesarkar said, "We are still in Shiv Sena, there is a misunderstanding that we have left the party. We've just separated our faction. We have a two-thirds majority to follow the path we wanted. Our new leader has been chosen by the majority. They didn't have more than 16-17 MLAs."
Reacting sharply to the naming of the group after the name of Balasaheb Thackeray, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the former faction can take their own decisions but no one should use the party patriarch's name.
Addressing party leaders during the national executive committee meeting in the Shiv Sena Bhawan, Thackeray said, "Some people are asking me to say something but I've already said that they(rebel MLAs) can do whatever they want to do, I won't interfere in their matters. They can take their own decision, but no one should use Balasaheb Thackeray's name."
Notably, Eknath Shinde claims to have the support of 38 MLAs of the 55 Shiv Sena legislators, which is more than two-thirds of the party's strength in the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. It means that they can either leave and form another political party or merge with another without being disqualified from the state assembly.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction recently submitted a plea before the Maharashtra Assembly deputy speaker to disqualify 12 rebel MLAs.
As rebels continue to camp in Guwahati, some of their offices were vandalised allegedly by Shiv Sena workers in Maharashtra.
Following this, Shinde on Saturday wrote to Uddhav Thackeray over the alleged 'malicious' withdrawal of security of family members of the 38 MLAs camping with him in the Guwahati hotel.
In his letter to Thackeray and State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, Shinde claimed that the security provided to the MLAs at their residence as well as to their family members as per the protocol has been illegally and unlawfully withdrawn, as an act of revenge.
"Needless to mention, this sinister move is another attempt to break our resolve and arm-twist us to give in to the demands of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government comprising of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress goons," he said. (ANI)