The rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde on Saturday said that they will form a new party to be named as ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’, amid the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena presses for their disqualification from the assembly.
“Our group will be called Shiv Sena Balasaheb. We will not merge with any party,” rebel Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar said.
"We have only two options in Maharashtra, either to support the NCP or the BJP. In the end, the option remains to go with the BJP", says Deepak Kesarkar, adding, "Eknath Shinde will take the final call on whether to go with BJP".
Taking dissident Shiv Sena MLAs head on, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused them of betrayal and challenged them to try and wean away common party workers as he slammed rebel leader Eknath Shinde and also tore into the BJP, saying it wants to "finish off" his outfit and does not want to share its Hindu votebank.
As the four-day-old political crisis, triggered due to a revolt by a group of Sena MLAs led by cabinet minister Shinde, showed no signs of heading towards a resolution, Thackeray upped the ante and said those who want to leave can do so and communicated directly with Shiv Sainiks and mid-level functionaries, and also met NCP president Sharad Pawar, whose party is the second largest constituent in the ruling MVA alliance.