Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Monday asserted the group led by Uddhav Thackeray is the ”real Shiv Sena” and rejected a suggestion from a leader of the Eknath Shinde-headed camp for an introspection by Thackeray for the unification of the two rival party factions.
Talking to reporters, Rajya Sabha member Raut said there is no need for an introspection and such a suggestion shows the frustration of the rival group.
Shinde led a revolt against the Sena leadership in June last year following which the party split and the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed. Shinde later became the chief minister with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) support.
Deepak Kesarkar, spokesperson of the Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, on Sunday said Thackeray should introspect which could lead to the unification of two groups.
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Raut, a key associate of Thackeray, on Monday said, ”His (Kesarkar’s) suggestion stems from frustration. The people of the state have decided that traitors should not be sent to the Vidhan Sabha or the Lok Sabha.” ”The Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray is the real Shiv Sena. If traitors are asking us to introspect, then it is difficult. There is no need for introspect. The Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray is growing like it was growing before,” he said.
Raut claimed there were groups within the Shinde camp that were at odds with each other.
”This (Shinde-led) government will not last. Half of the MLAs will join the BJP and that’s their aim because the Shiv Sena will not accept them and they don’t have another option,” he claimed. Raut further claimed that 16 MLAs (of the Shinde faction), whose disqualification plea is before the Supreme Court, will be disqualified because the Thackeray faction’s case is legally strong.