In a move that could bring in more embarrassment for Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is trying to keep his flock together, rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Thursday shared a letter by Aurangabad MLA Sanjay Shirsat who has slammed the coterie around Thackeray for not allowing them access to the chief minister.
Shirsat, the MLA from Aurangabad (West) Assembly constituency, in a letter dated June 22, claimed that despite the Shiv Sena being in power and having its own chief minister, Thackeray’s agents never allowed them access to ‘Varsha’, the CM’s official residence.
He also claimed that Shinde took the step of going against the party leadership as Sena MLAs, who faced “humiliation” for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.
In the letter, Shirsat said Eknath Shinde opened doors for the party MLAs to hear their grievances, issues about development work in their constituencies and related fund, and problems with allies Congress and NCP.
”Only Shinde heard us out and took steps to resolve all the problems. The party MLAs persuaded Shinde to take this step (or revolt) for the rights of all the legislators,” Shirsat said in the letter.
While the Shiv Sena legislators had no access to the chief minister, the Congress and NCP, which are the “real opponents” of the Shiv Sena, were getting all the attention, he claimed.
Shirsat also said the party MLAs were not allowed to accompany Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray (the CM’s son) to Ayodhya (during his recent visit).
”The Shiv Sena votes did not split in the Rajya Sabha polls, then why so much distrust in us for the Legislative Council polls?” he asked.
On Thursday, Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of “unnatural” ruling alliance MVA and claimed support of “enough number” of MLAs.
This came a day after Uddhav Thackeray reached out to dissidents with an emotional appeal and offered to quit. The CM moved out of ‘Varsha’ and shifted to Matoshri, the private bungalow of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra, amid high drama even as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde who is camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.