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‘We are not rebels’: Eknath Shinde’s Sena leaves Guwahati as SC begins hearing

Jun 29, 2022 07:39 PM IST

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said he is ready for the floor test and will return to Mumbai tomorrow

GUWAHATI: Ending their 8-day stay in Guwahati, rebel Shiv Sena and Independent legislators led by Eknath Shinde left Guwahati on Wednesday afternoon for Goa, where they are expected to halt for the night before landing in Mumbai in time for Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s floor test the following day.

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde at Guwahati’s airport where he and other MLAs boarded a chartered flight that landed earlier in the day (ANI)

Shinde and other legislators who were staying in a luxury hotel in Guwahati headed to the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in four buses to take a chartered flight for their journey even as the Supreme Court started hearing the Shiv Sena’s petition challenging governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari’s order to Thackeray to face the trust vote on Thursday.

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“The Supreme Court will take a decision (on the Shiv Sena plea challenging Koshiyari’s decision to convene a special assembly session on Thursday for a floor test),” Shinde told journalists at the airport.

“First there will be a trust vote and after that, we will have a meeting of our legislature party to decide on our future course of action,” he added without disclosing where the legislators are headed but adding that all of them will reach Mumbai on Thursday.

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At the airport, the MLAs from the Shinde camp were seen wearing an Assamese traditional ‘gamosa’ around their neck and appeared relaxed. They didn’t speak to reporters; Shinde did.

“We are not rebels. All of us are Shiv Sainiks. We will carry forward Bal Thackeray’s agenda and ideology on Hindutva and the development of Maharashtra,” Shinde said at the airport.

Shinde and his team were accompanied to the airport by two ministers from BJP-ruled Assam, Pijush Hazarika and Ashok Singhal.

Shinde also thanked Assam’s ruling party, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and everyone else in Guwahati who made their stay in Guwahati comfortable and memorable. A few hours earlier, he had announced on Twitter the decision of his camp to donate 51 lakh to the chief minister’s relief fund to help cope with the flood situation. Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma responded: “Heartfelt gratitude to hon’ble Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shindeji for contributing 51 lakh to CM Relief Fund. The contribution will go a long way in reaching out to the flood victims and ensuring relief in flood-affected areas of our state”.

Shinde and nearly three dozen MLAs reached Guwahati from Gujarat’s Surat on July 22. They were joined by some more Sena MLAs and independent MLAs during the next few days. Shinde claims to have 50 legislators on his side.

Early Wednesday morning, Shinde and the other MLAs visited the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati to seek blessings ahead of Thursday’s floor test.

“I did a darshan of Ma Kamakhya Devi today to seek peace, prosperity of Maharashtra and its people. Tomorrow we will reach Mumbai to take the required legislative process forward”, Eknath Shinde said.

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