- The rebel group has demanded that the Sena withdraw from the MVA
- Shinde is camping in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam with a sizable number of MLAs since June 21Shinde's
- Shrikant Shinde, who is a Shiv Sena MP from Kalyan, faced the wrath as office was pelted with stones
Scores of supporters of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde assembled near his house in Thane district on Saturday with saffron flags and large portraits of party founder Bal Thackeray and regional strongman Anand Dighe.
Shinde is camping in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam with a sizable number of MLAs since June 21 after raising the banner of revolt against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The rebel group has demanded that the Sena withdraw from the MVA, which also comprises the NCP and Congress, and try to forge an alliance again with one-time ally BJP.
Among those who addressed the gathering was Shinde's son Shrikant Shinde, who is Sena MP from Kalyan here and whose Ulhasnagar office was pelted with stones during the day by 8-10 men shouting pro-Thackeray slogans.
The Kalyan MP said Sena leaders and ordinary Sainiks suffered a lot at the hands of the NCP after the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed post the state Assembly polls in late 2019.
He claimed NCP, which holds the finance portfolio in the Thackeray government, did not allot funds to constituencies of Sena MLAs, and meetings and efforts within the Thackeray-led party to set things right were in vain.
The MP claimed all disgruntled segments of the Sena were rallying around Shinde as they had confidence in him that he would deliver justice to the party cadre.
Around 40 Sena MLAs and 10 Independent legislators were with Shinde, the Kalyan MP claimed. Shrikant Shinde said there was a calculated attempt to create a law and order situation in the state, and decried attacks on the offices of some of the rebel MLAs.
He said supporters of the rebel group were quiet on the directives of Shinde and due to the path shown by Dighe, a hugely popular leader who died in 2001 and is considered the mentor of the former.
Despite some people calling him a traitor and betrayer, Shinde continues to assert that he is a loyal Shiv Sainik, the Lok Sabha MP said. Shrikant Shinde made light of threats from some segments of the Sena that rebel MLAs would not be allowed to roam around freely in Maharashtra.