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‘Why were we barred from going to Ayodhya?’ rebel Shiv Sena MLAs ask Uddhav Thackeray: Read full text of the open letter in English

In the letter posted by Eknath Shinde, The Shiv Sena rebels have alleged that CM Thackeray gave preferential treatment to Congress and NCP Ministers in his government

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has posted a letter on behalf of Shiv Sena MLAs who are part of his camp stationed at Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati. Shinde, who has staged a rebellion with more than 40 Sena MLAs backing him, parted ways with the MVA government over the issue of Hindutva and upholding Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy.

In a tweet, Eknath Shinde has shared a letter penned by Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat, drafted on behalf of the rebel MLAs supporting him. The letter notes down grievances of distressed Shiv Sena leaders who did not get their fair share during the ‘compromise’ while forming the Maha Vikas Aghadi with Congress and the NCP. It also states that while some MLAs were ready to accompany Aditya Thackeray during his recent visit to Ayodhya, they were barred to do so upon the order of Uddhav Thackeray.

Hitting out at Rajya Sabha ‘Chanakyas’

The letter by the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs has turned out to be an official confession as to why they revolted against Uddhav Thackeray. In the letter published by Eknath Shinde, the leaders have hit out indirectly at Sanjay Raut, holding him responsible for the lacklustre performance in the recently held Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections.

“The so-called Chanakyas who sidelined us and chartered the strategy for the Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad elections have been exposed today. We had to plea before these people to meet you,” the MLAs say in the letter directed to Uddhav Thackeray. The rebel MLAs say that they were aggrieved over the fact that they never got to meet the CM in his residence, even after being from his own party.

The MLAs state that while any CM meets his party workers on the sixth floor of the Mantralaya, the question of Thackeray meeting them never arose since he never turned up there until now.

“You never met us, Mr CM!”

The MLAs note that while they came up with their grievances at Varsha – the official residence of the CM of Maharashtra, they were made to stand in long queues while Thackeray would eventually never turn up. “The Rajya Sabha leaders (indirectly hinting at Sanjay Raut’s supporters) had become the gatekeepers at Varsha and would never allow us to meet the CM,” the letter notes.

“Some of us have won our constituencies with 3-4 lakh votes. But we were being insulted on a daily basis by our own party workers,” the leaders noted. The rebel camp also asserted that they had many challenges before them concerning the allotment of funds, problems in the constituencies, and getting sidelined by Congress and NCP leaders including the officers under them. “We only had Shinde Saheb listening to us, and for our collective justice we requested him to make this move,” the rebel leaders noted.

“Why were we barred from going to Ayodhya?”

The letter states that while Ayodhya, Ram Mandir and Hindutva are on the agenda of the Shiv Sena, some of the leaders were told not to accompany Aditya Thackeray during his recent visit to Ayodhya. “Why did you dial us at the last moment while we were all set to visit Ayodhya?” the letter asked.

Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray, alongside Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and other leaders, visited Ayodhya on June 15. It is now being learnt that CM Uddhav Thackeray personally dialled some of the MLAs not to accompany Aditya Thackeray on his tour. “We had checked in with our luggage and were about to board the flight, At the eleventh hour, you dialled to bar us from visiting Ayodhya,” the leaders commented.

On preference given to NCP and Congress leaders

The Shiv Sena rebels have alleged that CM Thackeray gave preferential treatment to Congress and NCP Ministers in the government. “You met them, addressed their concerns, and they flaunted the money sanctioned by you for their causes. We were left nowhere,” the letter states. “Looking at all of this, the people in our own constituencies would ask us as to whose CM were you being?” The rebel leaders openly asked Uddhav Thackeray in a letter mincing no words.

The letter penned by Shirsat concludes by confessing that it was only Eknath Shinde who addressed their concerns. “He (Shinde) opened his doors for us in the times of this calamity. That is why we are supporting him,” the letter states.

The full English translation of the letter can be read below:

The doors of the Varsha bungalow truly opened to the public yesterday. It was a pleasure seeing the crowds at the bungalow. These doors were closed to us, the Shiv Sena MLAs, for the last 2.5 years. In order to enter the bungalow, us MLAs had to convince the coterie surrounding you, comprising of people elected to the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council, by our votes. This coterie ignored us while strategising for the recently-concluded Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections, the results of which were witnessed by the entire state. Despite the Chief Minister belonging to the Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena MLAs were never granted direct entry to the Varsha bungalow. The chief minister meets everybody in their office on the 6th floor of the Mantralaya. For us, the question of meeting you there didn’t arise either, since you never visited the Mantralaya.
After pleading with your coterie to let us meet you, for reasons such as developmental works in our constituencies, the coterie sent us a message that we were invited to the Varsha bungalow. However, we were made to wait for hours on the other side of the gate. The coterie never responds to or returns our calls.
Our question is, why are we, the Shiv Sena MLAs elected by an average of 3-4 lakh voters, subjected to such humiliating treatment by our own CM?
We were left to wallow in our misery. Your coterie never bothered to listen to our misery, let alone conveying the same to you. Eknath Shinde, however, left his doors open to us, and was the only person who listened to our complaints such as troubles in our constituencies, funds for works in our constituencies, bureaucracy, humiliation by Congress-NCP, etc.
Only and only Eknath Shinde listened to us, and constructively resolved these problems to the best of his abilities. Therefore, we forced Eknath Shinde to take this decision, for the sake of our just rights, at our insistence.
Hindutva, Ayodhya, Ram Mandir are the Shiv Sena’s agenda, right? Then why did you stop us from going to Ayodhya when Aditya Thackeray visited Ayodhya? You yourself called many MLAs, and told them over the phone to not visit Ayodhya. Myself and many of my associates had checked into the flights to Ayodhya at CSMIA. We were about to board the aircraft, when you called Mr Shinde to stop us from going to Ayodhya, and instructed him to bring back those who already have left for Ayodhya. Mr Shinde told us that the CM had called, telling MLAs to not go to Ayodhya. We checked out of the airport with our luggage, and came back home. No Shiv Sena votes were divided in the Rajya Sabha election, then why did you show such distrust in us during the Legislative Council election? Why were we stopped from visiting Ayodhya?
Sir, when WE were being denied entry to the Varsha bungalow, our real opponents, the INC and NCP, were regularly meeting you, getting works done in their constituencies, dangling the letters granting them funds, conducting groundbreaking and inauguration ceremonies, and posing for social media photos with you. Our constituents would ask us, that how is YOUR CM giving THEM the funds?
How are THEY getting their works done? You weren’t meeting us, so we would shudder to answer these questions posed to us by our constituents.
During these turbulent times, Eknath Shinde, the man who has preserved the Hindutva of Hon’ble Balasaheb Thackeray and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe, gave us invaluable support. We are with Eknath Shinde, on the trust that his doors were, are, and will always be upon to us, in our tough times.
We are writing this letter to you, as whatever you said yesterday, and whatever transpired yesterday, was all very emotional, and didn’t answer any of our fundamental questions.  

Thanking you,
Yours truly,
Sanjay Shirsat
(MLA-Sambhajinagar West)  

The translation has been taken from a Twitter user named DKMCooper with the handle @Shelbot27.

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