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‘Workers will come on the roads, they will find it difficult to return’: As Eknath Shinde’s camp swells, Sanjay Raut threatens rebel MLAs with violence

"Eknath Shinde faction that's challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads," Shiv Sena motormouth MP said while speaking to ANI.

Baffled by the ongoing exodus within the party, Shiv Sena MP and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Sanjay Raut is on a spree of issuing implicit threats of violence to the party MLAs who have joined Eknath Shinde’s rebel camp.

Speaking to ANI on Friday, Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Raut said, “The (Eknath Shinde) faction that’s challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads.”

Similarly on Thursday, while speaking to NDTV, Sanjay Raut had directly threatened the rebel MLAs with street violence. When questioned about whether or not Uddhav Thackeray will stay the chief minister, he stated, “Let all the MLAs come to the floor of the House. We will see then. These MLAs who have left… will ultimately have to come back to Maharashtra. They will find it difficult to return and move around in Maharashtra.”

Mahesh Jethmalani, a fellow Rajya Sabha member, was offended by Sanjay Raut’s violent threats and asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to denounce them.

“This is a sinister threat from a man who has become a law unto himself in the state of Maharashtra. It needs to be strongly condemned by every right minded legislator in the country and particularly by Udhav Thackeray who he represents and Sharad Pawar who is his mentor#MVACrisis,” Tweeted Jethmalani.

Shiv Sena’s troubleshooter Sanjay Raut has, in fact, completely lost his mind ever since the number of rebels in the group led by Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde started rising. Besides targetting the party rebels, Raut has also been after the Bharatiya Janata Party, which he, and his allies in the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, have accused of orchestrating Eknath Shinde’s uprising.

‘Union minister threatened Pawar…’, says Sanjay Raut

On Friday, Shiv Sena motormouth MP Sanjay Raut claimed that a union minister had threatened NCP chief Sharad Pawar, saying ‘if attempts are made to the Maha Vikas Aghadi then Pawar will not go home’.

“Whether or not the MVA survives, use of such language for Pawar is not acceptable,” Raut tweeted, tagging prime minister Narendra Modi’s office.

“Threats are being given to Sharad Pawar ji by a central minister. Do such threats have the support of Modi ji and Amit Shah ji?” he asked reporters.

Raut’s tweet came after union minister Narayan Rane claimed Sharad Pawar had threatened the rebel MLAs. This was after the NCP chief said Shinde’s camp would eventually have to return to Mumbai and could then be persuaded to stand down.

BJP pressurising rebel MLAs through ED: Raut

Yesterday (June 23), too, Raut claimed the BJP is putting pressure on the rebel MLAs through the Enforcement Directorate. He said that at least 17-20 party MLAs including Eknath Shinde have been on the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and want to “get out of their predicament” by jumping ship. Other 10-15 rebels who are also involved in various businesses also feared getting ED notices, added the Sena leader.

Questioned whether ED notices were the main reason behind the Sena MLAs ditching the party, Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut told the Indian Express on Thursday, “As per my information a majority of the rebel MLAs have received ED notices. The BJP has been putting pressure on them through the ED. Other MLAs were also on the watch of the agency.”

Asked whether Eknath Shinde was also on ED radar, Raut said, “Yes, as per my information…”

Shiv Sena ready to leave Maha Vikas Aghadi: Sanjay Raut

As the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi becomes imminent, Sena leader Sanjay Raut announced that the party is willing to break its alliance with Congress and the NCP. He added that such a demand will only be entertained if a formal request is made to Uddhav Thackeray.

He also demanded that the rebel MLAs, currently camping in Assam, must return to Mumbai within a day’s time and meet the Shiv Sena chief. “Shiv Sena is ready to step out of Maha Vikas Aaghadi. Your demand will be considered. Come back within 24 hours,” Raut emphasised.

He further stated, “Those MLAs who are out of the State at this movement feel that Shiv Sena should step out of the alliance with Congress and NCP, they must come to Maharashtra and Mumbai and officially make this demand to Shiv Sena chief. I am making this statement with responsibility. We will talk with Uddhav-ji and accept your stand.”

Meanwhile, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde informed that he has the support of 50 MLAs, which is enough to oust the Maha Vikas Aghadi from power.

He made the revelations during an exclusive telephonic conversation with TV9 Marathi. Shinde confirmed that about 40 of the MLAs are from the Shiv Sena. It implies that the rebel leader has the numbers to bypass disciplinary action under the anti-defection law.

Besides the Shiv Sena MLAs, about 60 Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) from Thane are also set to join Eknath Shinde’s rebel camp

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