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Signals Sent Out By Shiv Sena Rebel MLAs Create Flutter

Are some members of the Shiv Sena breakaway group likely to reconsider their decision to follow Eknath Shinde out of the party? Guesswork is rife owing to some prominent rebel MLAs repeatedly declaring their loyalty and respect towards Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. When BJP’s watchdog Kirit Somaiya described Uddhav as ‘mafia’ before television cameras, several Sena rebel MLAs took strong objection to the derogatory term and warned the former MP to mind his language. Buldhana MLA Sanjay Gaikwad has declared that many like him will walk out of the alliance with the BJP if Uddhav is attacked. Former ministers Gulabrao Patil and Deepak Kesarkar have declared that Uddhav will not be criticized by alliance members. Another rebel MLA, Suhas Kande, said he will lead a delegation of the rebels to the Thackeray residence, Matoshri. But Shinde’s trusted aide Kesarkar added a rider. He said, “If there is any talk for a patch up, our ally BJP, too, will be in the picture.” On the other hand, Uddhav, his son Aaditya and their spokesman Sanjay Raut have adopted a tough posture in response to the various pronouncements by the Sena rebels. The situation is further confounded as actress and Sena functionary Deepali Sayyad has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the initiative. “Uddhavji and chief minister Shinde will not defy your word,” she has said.