In a piercing attack at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over alliance with the NCP and Congress, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said that the party was not benefitted from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). Stating that there must be a 'big reason' for 50 MLAs to leave a ruling alliance, Shinde said that he and other rebel leaders tried explaining the situation to Uddhav, but couldn't persuade him.
Shinde said that the MVA could not make a decision when matters concerning Hindutva, Veer Savarkar, Mumbai blasts and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim came up.
"Shiv Sena, BJP contested 2019 assembly elections together but the government was formed with Congress, NCP. Due to this, whenever issues of Hindutva came up, matters relating to Savarkar came up, Mumbai blast issue came up, on Dawood issue came up and other issues when (these) came, we were unable to make a decision," Shinde said.
Shinde said this as he referred to NCP leader and Minister Nawab Malik (now former) who was arrested by the ED in February in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to Dawood Ibrahim and his aides. Dawood is the main accused in the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai that more than 257 people.
Shinde said that Sena MLAs were facing difficulty in carrying out works in their constituencies as allies were trying to empower those who lost to them.
"Our MLAs were unable to do development works due to lack of funds... We spoke to seniors but to no avail. So our 40-50 MLAs did this," he said.
If 50 MLAs take such a step, Shinde who is considered a Sena strongman, then there must be a "big reason for it".
"Nobody takes such a big decision for a small reason. Even a corporator does not take such a decision. Why did 50 MLAs take such a decision?... should think about this," the new CM said.
'Autorickshaw outpaced Mercedes'
Shinde also returned Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘auto driver’ jibe, saying, "Autorickshaw outpaced Mercedes (car)... because this is a government of the common man."
Shinde, who drove an auto-rickshaw in his initial days to earn a living, had late last month raised a banner of revolt against the party leadership, leading to the collapse of the MVA government.
Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister on June 30 with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy, a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the CM without taking the floor test. The Shinde government won the trust vote on the floor of the Assembly with 164 MLAs voting for the motion of confidence and 99 siding with the MVA.