eknath shinde: If we were traitors, would people support us, asks Maha CM Eknath Shinde

Responding to Shiv Sena leaders, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Tuesday that if he and his followers had been traitors, they would not have received the support of the people of the state. Speaking at a rally at Saswad in Pune district, Shinde said the stance taken by him and other Shiv Sena MPs backing him “to save the Shiv Sena from Balasaheb Thackeray” was justified by the support People.

Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, whose coalition government collapsed in June after Shinde’s rebellion, lambasted Shinde and others, calling them “gaddar” or traitors.

Despite being in power, the Sena was relegated to fourth place in local state body elections (when Thackeray was chief minister), Shinde said.

The Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, which were supposed to be out of power after losing the 2019 Assembly elections, received a “sanjivani butee” (new breath) because of their alliance with the Sena, a- he declared.

“If the Shiv Sena-BJP government had been formed (in 2019), the NCP and the Congress would not have survived,” said Shinde, who became chief minister on June 30 with BJP backing.

“Not only people in the state, but people across the country have taken notice of this development,” he said, referring to his and other Sena lawmakers’ rebellion against Thackeray.

It was “a historic event and even the world took notice, asking who these 50 people are, who Eknath Shinde is,” he said.

The chief minister then asked the assembly if he and other deputies were rebels (“Band-khor”).

“Are we rebels, traitors? If we were rebels or traitors, would we get support from the ordinary people of the state? Would you come (to the gathering) in such large numbers? It means our position to save the Shiv Sena from Balasaheb Thackeray has been accepted by the people of the state,” he said.

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