The Shiv Sena MLA who 'escaped' from rebel camp, walked 5 km to Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena legislator from Osmanabad Kailas Patil had a dramatic escape on Tuesday even as a host of party legislators led by Eknath Shinde made their way to Gujarat. Patil, one of the legislators part of the posse making its way to Surat, managed to get off near the Gujarat border check-post and eventually made his way party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s official residence Varsha in Malabar Hill.
Patil claimed to have walked at least five kilometres, hitched a ride on a bike and a truck to finally reach Mumbai. He also established contact with the chief minister’s official residence and briefed the Sena head on what transpired.
A Sena functionary in the know of the exchange between Patil and Sena leaders said that on Monday evening, a handful of legislators were told that they were being taken to dinner and were asked to meet in Thane. “After the voting ended, some legislators were told that there is dinner planned in Thane and they had to go there. Unsuspecting, Patil went along with the plan, but soon he sensed something amiss as the car moved towards Ghodbunder road,” the functionary said.
The legislators were taken in groups of three in different cars soon after they finished voting for the legislative council elections on Monday. Patil too left the Vidhan Sabha after casting his vote at 5.30 pm.
The Sena functionary said that after travelling for a couple of hours, the legislators were told that Eknath Shinde would meet them at the border check-post in Talasari in Palghar district. “Once they reached Talasari, Patil made an excuse and said he needed to relieve himself, in order to get out of the car. Using the cover of dark and the shrubs along the road, Patil started running in the other direction,” the functionary added.
The functionary who spoke to Patil said that he walked nearly five kilometres in the rain. “He hitched a ride on a bike for a few kilometres. He also requested a truck driver heading towards Mumbai to give him a ride. He reached the Dahisar check post at around 1.30 am. He then contacted Varsha. The CM’s staff arranged for a vehicle, which ferried him to Malabar Hill at around 2.15 am,” the functionary said.
Patil remained unavailable for comment.
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