Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 24 (ANI): Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra with rebel leader Eknath Shinde claiming of having the support of 46 MLAs, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday expressed confidence that Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government would win the floor test in the State Assembly.
He also said that the rebel MLAs have taken a very wrong step and said that the MVA government will complete the rest of the remaining years of the five-year tenure in office.
"We will win on the Floor of the House, we won't give up. They (MLAs) have taken a very wrong step. We also gave them a chance to return to Mumbai. Now, we challenge them to come to Mumbai," he said.
The Shiv Sena leader also challenged the leaders to fight face to face.
"We won't relent...we will win on the floor of the house (State Assembly). If this battle is fought on roads, we will win that too. We gave the opportunity to those who left, but now it's too late. I challenge them to come on the floor of the house. MVA govt will complete rest of 2.5 yrs," said Raut.
He further added that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar are in constant touch.
"All leaders of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena are in touch with each other," he added.
Earlier, Raut has warned Ekanth Shinde-led rebel MLAs and said that if needed 'Shiv Sena workers will come on the roads.
"Eknath Shinde faction that's challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads," said Shiv Sena leader.
Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde along with 38 party MLAs and eight independent MLAs are campaigning at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati from June 22.
He further said that the process underway to disqualify 12 MLAs (of Eknath Shinde faction), their numbers are only on the papers.
"Shiv Sena is a big ocean such waves come and go," he added.
Raut had earlier urged rebel MLAs to return to Mumbai and discuss their issues with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
He had also claimed that the Shiv Sena is ready to "consider exiting out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) if this is the will of all the MLAs" but with a condition that the rebel MLAs will have to convey the message directly to CM Uddhav Thackeray and discuss the issues with him.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat claimed that both Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are trying to eliminate Shiv Sena politically from Maharashtra and the MLAs made countless attempts to inform Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about the malafide intentions of alliance partners.
Eknath Shinde is appearing to be holding a tight grip on the Shiv Sena, as the strength of MLAs supporting him is expected to cross 50 as more legislators are likely to reach Guwahati on Friday thus further deepening the political crisis in Maharashtra.
The situation for Thackeray continues to become grimmer with his close aide switching sides and the chief minister himself falling short of numbers.
It seems that the legacy of Bal Thackeray, who founded Shiv Sena, has slipped from the hands of Uddhav Thackeray with the rebellion of Eknath Shinde as he claims of being a true Shivsainik, the battle of who holds the true legacy of Balasaheb has started.
The political crisis in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra erupted after party legislators joined a rebellion led by Eknath Shinde who is staying at a hotel in Guwahati. The rebel MLAs who are at a hotel in Guwahati and authorised Shinde to decide on a further course of action.
Notably, the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has filed a petition before the Deputy Speaker of the state assembly seeking the cancellation of membership of 12 rebel MLAs including Eknath Shinde for "not attending" the legislative party meeting held on Wednesday.
Apart from Shinde, Shiv Sena has sought disqualification of Prakash Surve, Tanaji Sawant, Mahesh Shinde, Abdul Sattar, Sandeep Bhumare, Bharat Gogawale, Sanjay Shirsat, Yamini Yadhav, Anil Babar, Balaji Devdas and Lata Chaudhari.
However, the Shinde camp has written to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari stating that Shinde continues to be the legislative party leader. Shinde also wrote to the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly regarding the reaffirmation of his appointment as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party.
Amid the continuing turf war within Shiv Sena, the Shinde faction also said that Bharat Gogawale has been appointed as Chief Whip of the party. (ANI)