Shiv Sena MLA Shambhuraj Desai on Monday explained why he joined the Eknath Shinde-led revolt, as he singled out deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which governs the state in alliance with the Sena and Congress.
“Despite being the Minister of State, I did not get funds in my constituency. On the other hand, deputy CM Ajit Pawar supports the defeated NCP candidates. Despite repeated complaints to chief minister and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, no action was taken,” Desai said in a video uploaded on Shinde’s Twitter handle (translated roughly from Marathi).
The legislator from Satara’s Patan assembly seat then recalled how, despite his repeated recommendations to Pawar, who is also Maharashtra’s finance minister, a sum of ₹5 crore was not sanctioned for the development of Narveer Tanaji Malusare’s Samadhi site.
“The site was announced by the honurable chief minister himself,” Patil added.
Addressing Shiv Sainiks angry at the rebellion against their party chief, he concluded, “If this happened to a Minister of State, then guess what will be the situation of the MLAs. We’re working in in the interest of the Shiv Sena.”
Desai, who is Maharashtra’s MoS (Home), MoS (Finance) and also holds a host of other key portfolios, is among Sena nine ministers in the dissident camp, including Shinde himself. In total, the group has as many as 39 MLAs from the Thackeray-led party, and around 10 Independents. The faction is camping in a hotel in Guwahati, in faraway Assam.
Earlier today, taking strong action against all the dissident ministers, Thackeray took away and re-allocated their respective portfolios.