As the Maharashtra administration headed by Uddhav Thackeray confronts a crisis due to a rebellion by a group of Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik suggested on Wednesday that the party should reestablish links with the BJP.
In a money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate has been looking into Mr Sarnaik, the MLA from Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada seat. Last year, he sent Chief Minister and Sena President Uddhav Thackeray a letter urging the two organizations to work together to protect the party’s leaders from federal government agencies.
Sarnaik added, “I had originally proposed the notion that the Shiv Sena should join the BJP,” speaking to the media on Wednesday.
Even though the BJP and the Shiv Sena are no longer partners, Mr Sarnaik said in his letter to the chief minister last year that the Sena could take advantage of this as their leaders still get along.
In the money laundering case involving the National Spot Exchange Limited, the ED recently attached Mr Sarnaik’s assets worth more than 11 crores (NSEL). Several members of the state’s Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) administration have recently been the target of ED action.
A group of 40 Maharashtra MLAs came to Guwahati on Wednesday morning under the leadership of the rebel leader Eknath Shinde. They were transported to a posh hotel outside the city under heavy guard.
According to a BJP source, the MLAs were first transported from Mumbai to Surat in Gujarat on Tuesday, and the decision to move them to Guwahati in Assam was made for security reasons.