Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat revealed on Thursday that dissident group members close to Eknath Shinde left Mumbai for Surat last month with no luggage or even extra clothing and initially did not know where they were going.
Shirsat said the rebel MLAs accompanying Shinde were given new clothes after reaching Surat, where they were accommodated in a luxury hotel, on June 21. The uprising by a section of Sena MLAs led by Mr Shinde – now Maharashtra’s chief minister – subsequently overthrew the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The dissident group later left Surat for Guwahati and also stayed in Goa before returning to Mumbai after Prime Minister Shinde was sworn in on June 30, along with his BJP deputy Devendra Fadnavis.
“The MLAs who went to Surat before they left for Guwahati did not have enough clothes. When we told this to Eknath Shinde, a clothing store was literally set up in the hotel in Surat. There we got new clothes,” he told reporters. in Aurangabad.
After the uprising, the Aurangabad (West) MLA wrote a letter to the president of Shiv Sena and then CM Uddhav Thackeray, explaining the reasons why dissident lawmakers turned against the leadership of the saffron party.
Mr Shirsat said the rebel MLAs initially did not know where they were going and simply accompanied their leader, Mr Shinde, with no baggage.
“We didn’t know where we were going at all. But when Eknath Shinde told us to go with him, we all asked nothing…just went with him. We arrived at a Surat hotel around 2 am ( on June 21) But none of the MLAs had any clothes on them,” he said.
They approached Mr Shinde and everything immediately fell into place, the MLA said.
“‘We told Eknath Shinde this. Then, the next morning, vehicles full of clothes entered the hotel. It was as if a clothing store came into the hotel. There everyone took clothes of their choice. Not just clothes, material needed for the shaving and footwear was also made available to us at the Surat hotel,” said Mr. Shirsat.
“But Eknath Shinde did not get the clothes of the pattern he wanted. Mr. Shinde’s clothes came later from Thane to Surat,” he added.
Thane is the political home of Mr Shinde, an MLA from the city bordering Mumbai.
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