NEW DELHI, May 30: Hoping for an unlikely development, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) faction has claimed that at least 22 Shiv Sena Members of the Maharashtra state Assembly and nine Members of Parliament are likely to desert the Eknath Shinde camp and return to the Thackeray’s side.
Latching on to Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar’s remark that they were feeling suffocated because of his party was getting step-motherly treatment, an editorial in Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on Tuesday dubbed the Shinde group MLAs and MPs as “hens and cocks” imprisoned in the BJP coop and that it cannot be said when they could be slaughtered.
In 2019, the Sena had severed its ties with the BJP for the same “step-motherly treatment”, the editorial also mentioned. There are reports that Shinde group’s “22 MLAs and nine MPs are feeling suffocated because of step-motherly treatment by the BJP and they have developed the mindset to quit the group,” the editorial said. The Sena MPs and MLAs who “betrayed” the Thackerays and joined hands with the BJP, has had their “love affair turned sour” and there are “talks of divorce,” it added.
The matter was raised over the weekend by Kirtikar, who alleged that his party was getting step-motherly treatment from the BJP. “We are part of the NDA….So our work should be carried out accordingly, and (NDA) constituents should get a (suitable) status. We think we are being given step-motherly treatment,” Kirtikar had said on Friday.
His comment came as a shot in the arm for the UBT, which responded immediately. “Shiv Sena distanced itself from the BJP as the party was trying to finish it,” said Sanjay Raut, one of the seniormost leaders of the UBT and the editor of Saamana.
“The BJP is like a crocodile or python. Whoever goes with them, they are swallowed. Now they (Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs who rebelled against leadership) will realise that Uddhav Thackeray’s stand to distance himself from this crocodile was right,” added Raut, who is also a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray.
In 2019, the Shiv Sena had ended the alliance with the BJP and formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. The government collapsed last year after Eknath Shinde split the party and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government.