Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde has on Thursday shared an open letter writing by an MLA of his camp accusing the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray of making his official house inaccessible by shutting his doors to them and keeping them waiting for hours.
In the letter dated 22 June, Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat from the Aurangabad (West) Assembly seat also claimed that Shinde decided to go against the party leadership as Sena lawmakers, who allegedly faced "humiliation" for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.
The Sena MLA further alleged that since Thackeray "never" visited the 'Mantralaya,' or the state secretariat, there was no prospect of going there.
In the 3-page letter, Shirsat further said that Shinde opened doors for the party MLAs and also heard their grievances, issues about development work in their constituencies and related to funds, as well as listened to the problems with allies Congress and NCP.
"Only Shinde heard us out and took steps to resolve all the problems. The party MLAs persuaded Shinde to take this step (or revolt) for the rights of all the legislators," Shirsat said in the letter.
He further claimed that while Sena legislators had no access to the chief minister, the Congress and NCP, which are the "real opponents" of the Shiv Sena, were getting all the attention. People around the chief minister used to decide if we can meet him or not. "We felt we were insulted," he added.
Shirsat also said the party MLAs were not allowed to accompany Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray (the CM's son) to Ayodhya (during his recent visit).
"The Shiv Sena votes did not split in the Rajya Sabha polls, then why so much distrust in us for the Legislative Council polls?" he asked.
ही आहे आमदारांची भावना... pic.twitter.com/U6FxBzp1QG
— Eknath Shinde - एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) June 23, 2022
Instead of being in 'Mantralaya', the CM Uddhav Thackeray used to be in Matoshree (Thackeray residence). "We used to call people around the CM but they never used to attend our calls. We were fed up with all these things and persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step."
"While we weren't able to meet the chief minister, people from our 'real opposition'-- the Congress and the NCP used to get opportunities to meet him and even funds were given to them related to work in their constituencies," Shirsat claimed.
"Chanakya would always trump us," said Shirsat, referring to Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.
"When Hindutva and Ram Mandir are crucial issues for the party, then why did the party stop us from visiting Ayodhya," Shirsat asked in the open letter.
MLAs were called and stopped from going to Ayodhya during Aaditya Thackeray's visit. "Only Shinde heard us out and took steps to resolve all the problems. The party MLAs persuaded Shinde to take this step (or revolt) for the rights of all the legislators," Shirsat added.
"Today we are with Shinde with the belief that his home, which has always been open to us in difficult circumstances, will remain so. Yesterday, whatever you said made us emotional. But I did not get answers to basic questions. So, in order to convey my feelings to you, I had to write this emotional letter," rebel MLA Shirsat said.
Eknath Shinde and the MLAs supporting him are presently lodged at a hotel in Guwahati, Assam.
With inputs from agencies