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I was suppressed for long time; will not resort to vendetta politics: Eknath Shinde

I was suppressed for long time; will not resort to vendetta politics: Eknath Shinde

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday said he had been suppressed for a long time and the rebellion led by him was a fallout of the unfair treatment meted out to him but asserted that he will always remain a Shiv Sainik and will not play vendetta politics.

In his maiden speech after the newly-formed government led by him won the trust vote in the Legislative Assembly, Shinde admitted that BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was the real "kalakar" (artist) behind the formation of the new government.

"The happenings of today didn't happen in just one day," Shinde said.

In his speech, Shinde referred to his roots as a Shiv Sena worker.

"I am a hardcore Shiv Sainik and will remain so. I alone had closed down 16 ladies' bars in and around Thane. There are some 100 various criminal charges registered against me," said Shinde, who is an MLA from Thane city.

"I am a very quiet person and I can assure you that there would be no vengeance despite bad words being used against us by our own party members. When we had gone to the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, it was said that 40 bulls (male buffalos) would be sacrificed. Now, who got sacrificed," he asked without taking the name of former CM and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

Amid the political crisis, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said that "40 living corpses will return from Guwahati".

Shinde disclosed that he was offered the post of deputy chief minister during 2014-19 amid simmering tensions between the ruling BJP and Sena, but the Sena refused apparently because it was averse to him becoming the deputy CM.

Shinde also said that he had made up his mind to resign (as the minister in the erstwhile BJP-Sena government) but it was the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who supported him.

"I had been told by Union minister (and BJP leader) Nitin Gadkari that I will soon get a good post, he said.

Shinde said though the Rajya Sabha elections held last month were crucial for Shiv Sena, the party could win only one seat.

The Shiv Sena's second nominee Sanjay Pawar had lost to BJP's third candidate Dhananjay Mahadik in the RS polls.

"Though I was kept out of the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections, I managed to get three votes from non-Sena voters for our candidates," he said.

Shinde revealed that the last trigger for his rebellion was the Legislative Council elections held last month.

"On the day of the legislative council (June 20) elections and the way I was treated, I had decided that I will not be turning back. There was 'nakabandi' by the police. I was aware of how to locate mobile towers and track a person. I also happened to know how to evade nakabandi," he said referring to his exit from Mumbai to Surat.

Shinde said 50 MLAs are with him while BJP's strength in the House is 106.

"But in the next elections, we will win 200 seats. If not, I will go back to farming, he added.

Shinde said in the past instances some leaders who had left the Shiv Sena strayed from the path of Hindutva.

However, we left the MVA to return to Hindutva and hence not a single MLA who joined me will lose the election, he said.

Shinde's rebellion last month with a section of Shiv Sena MLAs culminated in the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government. Shinde took oath as the chief minister on June 30 with Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.

When I came for election here, there are people in this House who witnessed how I was treated. I have been suppressed for a long time. Sunil Prabhu (Shiv Sena MLA from the Uddhav Thackeray faction) is also a witness," he said without elaborating.

Quoting former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, Shinde said the senior NCP leader had told him that an "accident" has occurred in Shiv Sena after the formation of the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which came to power in November 2019.

Without taking names, Shinde also referred to Uddhav Thackeray's statement that NCP chief Sharad Pawar had informed him ahead of the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi that leaders of Congress and NCP were not keen to work under Shinde.

But after the formation of the MVA government, Ajit Pawar told me that an accident took place in your party (Shiv Sena). We were never against you becoming the chief minister," Shinde said apparently referring to Uddhav Thackeray becoming the chief minister.

On Monday, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it on the last day of the special session.

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