'Uddhav wished to join NDA last year,' claims Sena MP Rahul Shewale
Meanwhile, Shinde announced that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has recognised Rahul Shewale as Shiv Sena leader in the Lower House of Parliament.
Published: 19th July 2022 09:24 PM | Last Updated: 19th July 2022 11:01 PM | A+A A-
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena Lok Sabha's MP Rahul Shewale on Tuesday alleged that in June 2021, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which lasted over an hour.
Shewale, a two-term member from Mumbai South Central, said Shiv Sena MPs had asked Thackeray in June last year to realign with the BJP as it would be difficult for them to win the 2024 parliamentary elections if the alliance with Congress and NCP continued.
Shewale claimed that Thackeray had told the Shiv Sena MPs that he too was keen on realigning with the BJP and had made a lot of efforts in that direction last year.
However, the decision to suspend 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra assembly for one year in July last year created doubts in the BJP ranks about the sincerity of the Sena's desire to revive the alliance with the BJP.
The BJP MLAs had been suspended from the Maharashtra assembly for one year over alleged misbehavior with the presiding officer.
Shewale also claimed that Thackeray had presented the MPs with three options --- an alliance with the BJP, going it alone, and continuing with the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition with Congress and NCP.
"We have merely chosen the first option suggested by Thackeray," he said.
While accusing Uddhav Thackeray of going back on his word on reforming ties with the BJP, Shewale claimed, "Uddhavji had agreed to form an alliance with the BJP. But after 12 BJP MLAs were suspended, that plan then did not go through. When we suggested an alliance with the BJP, Uddhavji said, 'I have tried'. So why don't you try now?" he queried at a press conference today.
“We had asked Thackeray not to support Margaret Alva for the post of Vice President, but our views were ignored," he added.
The Shiv Sena, Shewale said, has never officially left the NDA. Sena is still part of the NDA, he asserted.
The Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, however, rubbished claims made by Shewale.
READ HERE | Ahead of SC hearing, Eknath Shinde forms parallel Shiv Sena, becomes its leader
"There was no talk of Shri Uddhav ji wanting to get back into the previous alliance at the MPs meet, so that's obfuscation to justify deceit," Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena today suffered a fresh jolt with 12 of its 19 Lok Sabha members shifting allegiance to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and declaring two-term member Rahul Shewale as their leader in the lower house.
Rahul Shewale and the eleven other Sena Lok Sabha MPs joined Eknath Shinde's faction in Delhi.
Shinde announced that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has recognised Rahul Shewale as Shiv Sena leader in the Lower House of Parliament. However, there was no confirmation in this regard from the Speaker's office.
READ HERE | Two rebel Shiv Sena MPs, including Shinde's son, meet Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla
Meanwhile, according to a report, the 12 Lok Sabha MPs have been given Y-level security by the central and state government. All MP residences and offices have been provided with security by paramilitary personnel. The decision came after an online meeting.
Shiv Sena has 19 members in the Lok Sabha, including one from Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and three members in Rajya Sabha.
Members who have declared support for Shinde include Shewale, Bhawna Gawli, Sadashiv Lokhande, Hemant Godse, Hemant Patil, Rajendra Gavit, Sanjay Mandalik, Shrikant Shinde, Shrirang Barne, Prataprao Jadhav, Dhairyasheel Mane and Krupal Tumane.
The Lok Sabha members with Thackeray are Vinayak Raut, Rajan Vichare, Omraje Nimbalkar, Sanjay Jadhav, Gajanan Kirtikar, Arvind Sawant and Kalaben Delkar.
Rajya Sabha members Sanjay Raut, Anil Desai and Chaturvedi are with Thackeray.
(With inputs from Sudhir Suryawanshi and PTI)