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'Shinde went against leadership to secure rights of party legislator'

Shinde went against leadership to secure rights of party legislator
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mumbai: Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, claiming that state minister Eknath Shinde took the step of going against the party leadership as Sena MLAs, who faced "humilitation" for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.

While the Shiv Sena legislators had no access to the chief minister, the Congress and NCP, which are the "real opponents" of the Sena, were getting all the attention, he claimed in the letter, dated June 22.

The Sena shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.

Shirsat, the MLA from Aurangabad (West) Assembly constituency, in the letter claimed that despite the Shiv Sena being in power and having its own chief minister, the coterie around Thackeray never allowed them access to 'Varsha', the CM's official residence.

There was no question of going to 'Mantralaya', the state secretariat, because the chief minister never came there, he said. The letter was posted by Shinde on his Twitter handle, claiming these were the sentiments of the Sena MLAs.

Shinde is currently camping with some rebel MLAs in Assam's Guwahati city, plunging the Sena-led Maharashtra government into a crisis. In the letter, Shirsat said Eknath Shinde opened doors for the party MLAs to listen to 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 (of 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.

"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. The Shiv Sena-led tripartite MVA in Maharashtra was trumped by the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls to six seats from the state on June 10, when the Sena's second candidate, Sanjay Pawar, lost to BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik.

In MLC polls to 10 seats on June 20, MVA again suffered a setback when it lost one out of six seats it contested. The BJP in the state won all the five seats which it had contested.

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