Mumbai: Shiv Sena-UBT leaders Sanjay Raut and Vinayak Raut on Tuesday claimed that at least Shiv Sena 22 MLAs and 9 Lok Sabha MPs are disgruntled with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party and are keen to sever links.
Sanjay Raut said that the MPs and MLAs feel restless now as they are aware that “there is a sword hanging” over their heads after the issue of disqualification of 16 MLAs including Shinde is decided by the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker in due course.
Hinting that all is apparently not well, Vinayak Raut contended that “several” MLAs who had deserted the Uddhav Thackeray are now preparing to part ways with Shinde as they are allegedly deprived of developmental funds for their respective constituencies.
In an editorial comment on Monday, the Sena-UBT’s papers, “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana” said another key leader of the Shinde group, Gajanan Kirtikar is openly voicing his dissatisfaction over the BJP’s purported “discriminating” attitude.
Among other things, Kirtikar has also voiced his resentment over how the major public issues related to their respective constituencies remain unresolved as the clock ticks away for the next elections in 2024.
The Shiv Sena has also expressed its desire to contest 22 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state which the aggressive partner BJP has not exactly appreciated, though Shinde has yet to comment on his party colleague’s sentiments.
As per the Sena-UBT circles, the Shinde-led Shiv Sena may have to be content with a BJP dole of around half a dozen seats in Lok Sabha and could be pushed into relative insignificance after the 2024 Assembly elections.
The speculation over the mood of the Shinde group comes after nearly 12 months when he walked out of the original Shiv Senawith 40 MLAs plus 10 Independents, and finally toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Thackeray in end-June 2022.