MUMBAI: Three days after Eknath Shinde raised the banner of revolt in Shiv Sena, both NCP and Congress said they remained firmly with CM Uddhav Thackeray in the hour of crisis. In a slight hardening of stand against the rebels, Sharad Pawar said they would have to return to Mumbai one day and reminded that Sena rebels have had to bite the dust in subsequent elections.
Both Pawar and the state Congress leadership stressed the MVA government had majority and made it clear no one was fooled about the BJP’s dirty tricks. “Whether the MVA has majority or not will be decided on the floor of the House, and we are sure MVA will win the vote of confidence. So far as the rebels are concerned, one day or the other, they will have to return to Mumbai to prove majority. They must speak in Mumbai instead of Surat or Guwahati,” Pawar said on Thursday.
In an indirect warning, he said it has been seen that whoever had left Sena, had had to face humiliating defeat in the subsequent elections. In 1991, Chhagan Bhujbal left Sena and joined Congress. He was defeated in the 1995 elections.
Congress state president Nana Patole said there is absolutely no threat to the MVA government. “We have majority, I am sure the MVA will complete five years. …BJP does not have majority, still it is making efforts to destabilise the government; it will not succeed in its evil plan,” he said.
Backing Thackeray, Ajit Pawar said a few rebel legislators have returned to Mumbai and Uddhav has appealed to the entire group. State NCP president Jayant Patil endorsed his views, saying entire NCP is with MVA.
Congress legislature party leader Balasaheb Thorat too blamed BJP for the current political turmoil. “Our information is The NDA government is misusing the central agencies, particularly the ED to scare Shiv Sena legislators,” said Thorat. MVA has a clear majority, the government is firmly in the saddle and Congress is firmly with Uddhav Thackeray, he added.