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Maharashtra politics: Key points from rebel Shiv Sena MLA's letter shared by Eknath Shinde

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NEW DELHI: In an open letter to Uddhav Thackeray, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat who has joined the Eknath Shinde camp, said that the chief minister's house was inaccessible. He further claimed that Shinde took the step of going against the party leadership as Sena MLAs, who faced 'humilitation' for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.
In a letter dated June 22, Shirsat, an MLA from the Aurangabad (West) Assembly seat, alleged that despite the Shiv Sena being in power and having its own chief minister, Thackeray's entourage never granted them access to the CM's official mansion.

He said that since the chief minister never visited the state secretariat, 'Mantralaya,' there was no prospect of going there.
Shinde released the letter on his Twitter account and said that the Sena MLAs shared the same views.

In the letter, Shirsat said Eknath Shinde opened doors for the party MLAs to hear their grievances, issues about development work in their constituencies and related fund, and problems with allies Congress and NCP.
Here are the key points from the letter-
  • Despite having a Shiv Sena CM in the state the party MLAs didn't use to get the opportunity to visit Varsha Bungalow (CM's residence). People around the CM used to decide if we can meet him or not. We felt we were insulted.
  • CM never used to be in the Secretariat, instead, he 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 & persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step.
  • While we weren't able to meet the CM, 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.
  • When Hindutva and Ram Mandir are crucial issues for the party, then why did the party stop us from visiting Ayodhya.
  • 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.

While the Shiv 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, Shirsat claimed.
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.
Shinde is currently camping with some rebel MLAs in Assam's Guwahati city, plunging the Sena-led Maharashtra government into a crisis.
(With inputs from agencies)
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