Gajanan Kiritkar
Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) MP Gajanan Kirtikar remarked that his party was getting step-motherly treatment from the BJP I Photo: FaceBook

Shiv Sena rival claims 22 MLAs and 9 MPs led by Shinde may leave party

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According to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), 22 MLAs and nine MPs from the rival Shiv Sena are allegedly experiencing discontentment due to the BJP’s perceived “step-motherly treatment.” The UBT suggests that these members may consider leaving the group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Latching on to Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar’s remark that his party was getting step-motherly treatment, an editorial in Shiv Sena (UBT) mouthpiece Saamana dubbed the Shinde group MLAs and MPs as hens and cocks imprisoned in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) coop and that it cannot be said when they could be slaughtered.

Also Read: Maharashtra: Shiv Sena (UBT) accuses BJP of trying to set up ‘laboratory of riots’

It said Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (then undivided) severed ties with the BJP (in 2019) due to the same “step-motherly treatment” which became unbearable, and also for its safety and self-respect.

The Thackeray-headed Shiv Sena exited the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2019 and joined hands with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party to form a government in Maharashtra.

After the split in the Sena last year, Shinde joined hands with the BJP to become CM.

Kirtikar, the Lok Sabha member from Mumbai, on Friday said, “We are part of the NDA….So our work should be carried out accordingly, and (NDA) constituents should get a (suitable) status. We think we are being given step-motherly treatment.”

Also Read: Will have to first recognise which Sena faction is the political party: Maharashtra Speaker

The editorial in Saamana on Tuesday said reports are that Shinde groups “22 MLAs and nine MPs are feeling suffocated because of step-motherly treatment by the BJP and they have developed the mindset to quit the group.”

It said the Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs “betrayed” the Thackerays and joined hands with the BJP, but within a year, their “love affair” has turned sour and there are talks of their divorce.

Kirtikar last week said the Shiv Sena contested 22 Lok Sabha seats (out of total 48) in Maharashtra in the 2019 and this arrangement with the BJP will continue in the state even in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The editorial claimed the Shiv Sena has asked for contesting 22 seats in the Lok Sabha, but the BJP will not give it more than five to seven seats.

Also Read: Won’t succumb to pressure on disqualification of 16 Sena MLAs: Maharashtra Speaker

The Shiv Sena’s claim that it will fight on 22 seats is laughable, the Marathi daily said.

Targeting Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the editorial claimed he has become the “driver” of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, which means all powers of the state government lie with the BJP leader.

“The entire Thackeray faction is dissatisfied. The kind of dissatisfaction which is there is nowhere else,” says Maharashtra Deputy CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis when asked about claims by leaders of Thackeray faction that 22 MLAs and 9 MPs of Shinde faction are in touch with them.

(With agency inputs)

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