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Rebel Sena MLA Eknath Shinde Met BJP Leaders In Gujarat: Report

The senior Shiv Sena leader, who has been camping in BJP-ruled Assam, visited Vadodara on a special flight last night, a report said.

Hoarding put up in support of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, in Thane on June 25, 2022. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: Shiv Sena rebel MLA Eknath Shinde on Friday night flew to Vadodara in Gujarat to meet BJP leaders, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The meeting was reportedly held to discuss government formation in Maharashtra, where the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has come under threat as Shinde led at least 40 MLAs to rebel against the leadership.

The senior Shiv Sena leader, who has been camping in BJP-ruled Assam, visited Vadodara on a special flight last night, NDTV cited its sources as saying. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was reportedly also in Vadodara yesterday.

Following the meeting, Shinde who flew back to Guwahati, where the rebel camp has asked the hotel management to extend their booking for two more days beyond June 28, till when they had previously made reservation.

On Saturday, Shinde took to Twitter to address the Shiv Sena workers on his agenda. “Shiv Sena workers must understand that I want to free Shiv Sena and its workers from the clutches of MVA govt and I have been struggling for the same. This battle is for the betterment of party workers,” said Eknath Shinde.

Shiv Sena’s Resolution

Earlier in the day, the national executive of the Shiv Sena passed a resolution authorising Maharashtra Chief Minister and party chief Uddhav Thackeray to take action against “those who have betrayed the party”. The executive, however, refrained from taking immediate action against rebel leader Eknath Shinde.

The executive further passed a resolution that no other political outfit or faction can use the name Shiv Sena and the name of its founder, late Bal Thackeray. This came after the Shinde faction, camping in Guwahati, said it has named itself as ‘Shiv Sena (Balasaheb)’.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray arrives Shiv Sena Bhavan to attend national executive committee meeting, at Dadar in Mumbai on June 25, 2022. (ANI Photo)

Addressing the media after the meeting, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray said, “You already know what was discussed in the meeting, the important thing is that we will not forget the betrayal done by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. We (Shiv Sena) will win for sure.”

Police On Alert As Tensions Rise

While a majority of Shiv Sena MLAs have shifted their loyalty to Shinde and are camping in Guwahati, cadres loyal to the Thackerays on Saturday staged protests against the rebels by defacing their banners, hurling stones, and vandalising the office of an MLA in various parts of the state.

The Mumbai police have deployed its personnel at the city-based offices of various political parties and leaders, including ministers, MLAs and MPs, and their residences as a security measure, an official said on Saturday.

Shiv Sena worker vandalised the office of Shrikant Shinde, son of Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, in Thane on June 25, 2022. (ANI Photo)

The instructions to remain alert and to provide security was taken at a meeting chaired by Mumbai Police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, where senior officials including the joint police commissioner (law and order), additional commissioners and zonal DCPs were present, he said.

The prohibitory orders issued by the city police under section 37 of the Mumbai Police (MP) Act in the first week of June, ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, will continue to remain in place till July 10. It bans the assembly of five or more persons at one place.

(With PTI inputs)