Rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde gives a Nawab Malik hint to justify revolt: 'Those connected with Dawood...'
Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 in connection with a money laundering case against Dawood Ibrahim. He is a member of the NCP, which governs Maharashtra in an alliance with the Shiv Sena and Congress.
In a bid to explain his ongoing revolt, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Sunday, in a possible reference to arrested Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, questioned the Sena over its support for a person who, he said, had links with fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
“How can Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena support people who had direct connections with culprits of the Mumbai bomb blast, Dawood Ibrahim, and those responsible for taking the lives of the innocent people of Mumbai. That’s why we took such a step,” Shinde tweeted in Marathi, explaining the ‘reason’ for his rebellion against Sena supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Malik has been behind bars since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 23 in connection with a money laundering case against Dawood Ibrahim. He is a member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is one-third of Maharashtra’s ruling alliance, with the other two being the Sena and the Congress.
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Meanwhile, in another post, Shinde said he was ready to die for Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena, and Hindutva, adding that the rebel MLAs would consider it ‘as our destiny.’
The Maharashtra urban development minister launched his rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray earlier this week. He is being supported by 38 legislators of the party, totalling to 39 MLAs, including Shinde himself (10 independents also support the faction). The latest to join the group was state higher education minister Uday Samant, who arrived in Guwahati today.
The dissenting faction, which is camping in a hotel in the largest city of the northeastern state of Assam, wants Thackeray to call of alliance with the NCP and Congress, due to extreme ideological differences between the Sena and NCP-Congress.
Also on Sunday, the rebel group filed a plea in the Supreme Court, challenging various decisions taken against them by Maharashtra assembly's deputy speaker, Narhari Zirwal. The apex court will take up the plea tomorrow.