- Eknath Shinde on Monday arrived in the national capital
- Sources said he is likely to make some announcements through a press conference
- Shinde said he was confident that all 18 Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MPs will meet him on July 20
Sanjay Raut on Tuesday termed the Eknath Shinde faction as "snakes". In a veiled attack, the Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP today took to Twitter and said, "Learn the skill of crushing the fun too..... Do not leave the forest because of the fear of snakes... Jai Maharashtra!!."
The tweet was made amidst indications from sources that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction seems to be in for another major setback as 12 of the party's 18 party MPs are in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and are likely to switch sides to his camp.
Newly inducted Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday arrived in the national capital and according to sources is likely to make an announcement through a press conference on the matter.
Speaking to reporters after his arrival, Shinde said he was confident that all 18 Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MPs will meet him on July 20. The Supreme Court on July 20 will hear pleas filed by both factions of the Shiv Sena pertaining to the Maharashtra political crisis. "Shiv Sena MPs will meet us. We have 18 MPs, not just 12," Shinde said.
Ready for fight over symbol, party: Raut
Raut on Tuesday also said the party was ready for a fight over the symbol and control of the organisation.
Interacting with the media in Delhi, Raut also claimed that the BJP was trying to break Maharashtra into three pieces, and making a dent in the Shiv Sena ranks was part of the saffron party's conspiracy.
He also hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde accusing him of trying to break the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party at a time when the state was struggling to come to terms with massive floods in some parts.
"We are ready for any fight, be it for the symbol or the party organisation. A few MPs and MLAs may be leaving us. But MLAs and MPs alone do not make up the Shiv Sena," Raut said, adding Shiv Sainiks will make it difficult for the rebels to win any election in the future.
He reminded the breakaway faction of the assistance given to them by the party supremo Uddhav Thackeray politically, socially and financially over the years.
Raut also took a swipe at Shinde saying he had to make visits to Delhi as he was a "BJP chief minister".
"I never recall Shiv Sena chief ministers Manohar Joshi or Narayan Rane making rounds of the national capital for cabinet expansion and other issues," he said.
Shiv Sena parliamentary party is staring at a split in its ranks with a breakaway faction set to approach Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla with a plea to recognise them as a separate group with Rahul Shewale as their leader.
(With inputs from agencies)