Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik on Sunday urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to "reconcile" with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi "before it is too late", saying such a move will save leaders like him from "problems being created by central agencies".
A letter addressed to Thackeray on June 10 alleged that the Congress and NCP, which are constitutents in the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, were weakening the saffron party by creating divisions in its ranks and also pointed out that civic polls are due in many cities, including Mumbai, in coming months.
An MLA from Thane city, Sarnaik said that even though the alliance with the BJP has broken, personal and harmonious relations between leaders of the 'yuti' (Shiv Sena-BJP) remain. "It's better to reconcile before it is too late," he added.
Cautiously reacting to the matter, the Congress party said it was an internal matter of the Sena while NCP state unit president Jayant Patil said he did not know any Sena workers crossing over to the Congress or NCP in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said that Sarnaik reiterated what the BJP has been saying from the last 18 months" (about allying with the Sena again).
It was in November 2019 when Shiv Sena chose to ally with the NCP and Congress to form the MVA government after Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP in the Maharashtra Assembly polls over the post of the chief minister.
Back in November 2020, premises linked to Sarnaik were raided in Maharashtra in connection with a money laundering case being probed against a security service provider company and others. Sena had termed these raids a "political vendetta" and said the Maharashtra government or its leaders will not surrender to pressure from anyone.
In this letter that has gone viral, Sarnaik highlighted that the municipal corporation polls are due soon in several cities including Mumbai.
"I believe fighting a war like Arjun, instead of sacrificing oneself like Abhimanyu or Karna (of the epic Mahabharat). This is the reason that I have been fighting my legal battle for the last seven months alone without getting any help from our leaders or our government," he wrote.
Sarnaik also alleged that Congress and NCP were creating divisions in the Shiv Sena ranks.
"It is better to join hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi again as Shiv Sainiks feel that it would save the Sena leaders like me, Anil Parab and Ravindra Waikar from problems caused by the Central agencies," he said.
Further, Sarnaik said that while the chief minister was focusing on COVID-19 eradication and staying away from playing politics, the Congress was talking of going alone in the next elections and the NCP was busy "breaking" Shiv Sena workers and inducting them into the Sharad Pawar-led party.