Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray has claimed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had come to his residence and cried that he will be arrested by a central agency if he did not switch over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), before revolting against the Sena leadership..
However, MLA Santosh Bangar from the Shinde-led Shiv Sena denied Thackeray’s claim and said there was no threat by the BJP.
The reason behind the “revolt” against Thackerays was their alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, Bangar said.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale also said the allegations against Shinde were false and the latter was a strong man and he would never cry..
Speaking during an interaction at a university in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, Aaditya Thackeray, the son of former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that 40 MLAs rebelled against the Sena leadership for their own seats and “money”.
“The current chief minister (Shinde) came to our house and cried because he was going to be arrested by a central agency, and he said ‘I will have to hop over to the BJP otherwise they will arrest me’,” he claimed.
“It was his good luck that they (the BJP) wanted to show this guy is the true Sena and we (BJP) will make him the CM,” the former minister said.
Defending his party’s alliance with the Congress, Aaditya Thackeray said he has learnt a little more about his grandfather than the “BJP’s WhatsApp university” is teaching.
“My grandfather (Bal Thackeray) had tie-ups with the Congress before. He had better relations with the Gandhi family earlier also. He had openly supported Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil (both former Presidents) openly when the BJP was putting up another candidate (during presidential elections),” he said.
On the other hand, the BJP formed an alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which “supported terrorists”, Aaditya Thackeray said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said Aaditya Thackeray’s claims were true.
The Rajya Sabha member said Shinde had even come to his residence in Bhandup area of Mumbai and made similar pleas and that he did not want to go to jail.
Raut said he told Shinde not to get scared and that they should stand up against injustice.
There were many Sena MLAs (among those who revolted) against whom probes were on by central agencies, he said.
“A similar thing is happening against the NCP,” Raut claimed.
However, Shiv Sena MLA Santosh Bangar rejected Aaditya Thackeray’s claims and said the fundamental reason behind the “revolt” against Thackerays was the alliance they had with the NCP and the Congress.
“All MLAs backed Eknath Shinde in this revolt. There was no threat (of central agencies) from the BJP,” Bangar said.
Meanwhile, when reporters asked Union minister and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale in Pune about Aaditya Thackeray’s claims, he said, “Eknath Shinde is a strong man, he will never cry. The allegations made against Shinde are false.”