Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday stressed that the party [Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction] would play the role of a ‘constructive Opposition’ to the new government while warning that the dissident Sena MLAs would regret their rebellion.
He further said that the Sena would not cause any hindrance in the rebel leaders’ association with the Bharatiya Janata Praty (BJP).
“Eknath Shinde was a staunch Shiv Sainik and worked for the party for many years. The other MLAs in this camp, be it Gulabrao Patil or Sandipan Bhumre have been staunch Sainikis for years and we have worked together. We will not create any impediment in their path. They can have their association [with the BJP]. Now our paths are different...We will work as a constructive Opposition,” said Mr. Raut.
The Sena MP, who has been the bete noire of the Shinde rebel camp for his harsh criticism, said the party would go forward unfazed by this setback.
Faith in Uddhav
Hitting out at the BJP for attempting to bring down the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government right from its inception, the Sena MP said everyone had a sense of trust in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.
“People of all faiths reposed faith in the Thackeray government. Be it NCP chief Sharad Pawar or Congress president Sonia Gandhi, everybody trusted Uddhav Thackeray. But efforts were on to bring down the government from day one and we were aware of this…the way they [BJP] brought different kinds of pressure to bear on us through different means, like unleashing central agencies, has been amply witnessed by the public,” Mr. Raut said.
The Sena rebels have blamed Mr. Raut and his affinity towards NCP chief Sharad Pawar as being one of the main reasons for their revolt, while holding the MP responsible for widening the gulf between Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and themselves.
Mr. Raut pointed out that many of the rebel MLAs who were justifying their revolt on the basis of Mr. Thackeray allegedly forsaking ‘Hindutva’ had earlier been with the NCP.