Rebel Sena MLAs blame low morale, NCP’s dominance for revolt

Low morale, dominance of ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over the lever of power, and lack of attention to development works in their constituencies were the three important reasons that prompted them to raise the banner of revolt against Shiv Sena, two of the rebel party legislators said on Wednesday
Gulabrao Patil, minister for water supply and sanitation HT Archives
Gulabrao Patil, minister for water supply and sanitation HT Archives
Updated on Jun 23, 2022 12:43 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

Low morale, dominance of ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over the lever of power, and lack of attention to development works in their constituencies were the three important reasons that prompted them to raise the banner of revolt against Shiv Sena, two of the rebel party legislators said on Wednesday.

Gulabrao Patil, minister for water supply and sanitation, and Anil Babar, MLA from Khanapur in Sangli district, are among over 30 legislators who have joined the Eknath Shinde camp.

“You can see the [poor] morale. There is a problem with morale,” Patil told HT over the phone from Gujarat, admitting that there was resentment in Sena against the NCP when it came to issues like distribution of funds and development works in constituencies represented by Sena MLAs.

Sena sources admit that the dominance of the NCP, especially deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, over the administrative decisions and distribution of funds came at a cost to their party. They attributed this to the hands-off style of management pursued by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, which led to the NCP assuming pole position in the government. Congress ministers, too, share these concerns.

Seconding Patil’s view on disgruntlement against the NCP, Babar said development works in Sena legislators’ constituencies were being affected.

“If we are unable to fulfil our duties as elected representatives then there will be discontent. [The yearning for] ministerial berths and positions on state-run corporations are not the factors responsible for this situation,” he told HT from Guwahati.

Babar claimed that they had the support of 40 MLAs. “Shinde is our leader,” he added.

Patil’s defection to the Shinde camp was surprising as the four-term MLA from Jalgaon (Rural) is seen as a hardcore Shiv Sainik. Patil, who ran a pan stall at Paldhi near Jalgaon before joining active politics, is also known for his aggressive oratory.

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