Shiv Sainiks hit streets to protest Eknath Shinde’s move, pledge support for party

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Thousands of Shiv Sena workers staged demonstrations in and around Mumbai Tuesday against Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde who along with over 20 MLAs is camping at a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat, putting the MVA government in turmoil.

Many Shiv Sena workers, who were irked at Shinde’s move, termed it as a BJP-instigated rebellion and expressed their anger and feelings through demonstrations.

Speaking with the media, Uday Samant, a Shiv Sena MLA and Minister of Higher Education And Technical Education, said, “Shinde saheb has contributed a lot to the party and I believe that he will not do anything that will affect the party in any way. I have been working with him for a long time now and know his style of work.”

Most of the MLAs who visited Varsha Bungalow, the official residence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, for the meeting, refused to speak on the issue and maintained that only the party chief and senior leaders will react on the issue.

Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar, who too was present in the meeting, said all the party MPs and MLAs have started reaching Mumbai to attend a meeting and talks are on with Eknath Shinde.

According to the party workers, the move has shocked them as Shinde was known to be a loyalist. Shinde’s move was also unexpected since it came moments after the Shiv Sena won two seats in the legislative council election. Party workers said after winning two seats, there was a mood of celebration among the cadre and amidst a fervour, the entire Shinde episode unfolded.

While many who were present at the Shiv Sena Bhavan seemed emotional and sad, the others looked angry but all were pledging their allegiance with Sena and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

One of the women protesters, who broke down while speaking, said whatever happens, all the workers are with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and those who have betrayed Thackeray and the party will not be forgiven.

Anil Kokil, former Sena corporator from (Lalbaugh – Parel), said there is a strong discontent amongst the workers. “However, all Shiv Sainiks are with Uddhav saheb. Whole of Maharashtra is with Uddhav saheb and the party no matter what the matter is. Shiv Sena has seen many such rebels and crisis situations. We have recovered strongly from all of them. We have the leadership of Uddhav saheb and he is capable enough to take care of it and our support is already there with saheb,” said Kokil.

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