I also got an offer to join rebel group, says Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut

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‘I also got an offer for Guwahati but I follow Balasaheb Thackeray, so I didn’t go there,’ Sanjay Raut said

                    <img class="fp-lazy" title="I also got an offer to join rebel group, says Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut" alt="I also got an offer to join rebel group, says Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut" width="640" height="362" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Sanjay-Raut11.jpg?impolicy=website&width=640&height=363" loading="eager"/>

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                        Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. ANI

            <strong>Mumbai</strong>: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday said that he too was offered to join the rebel group of MLAs in Guwahati, however, he refused.

“I also got an offer for Guwahati but I follow Balasaheb Thackeray and so I didn’t go there. When the truth is on your side, why fear?” Raut said.

Raut, who on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate to record his statement in an alleged money laundering case, said ED officials “behaved well” with him.

“As a responsible citizen and MP, it’s my duty to appear if an investigative agency (ED) summons me. Problem is with timing- amid Maharashtra political crisis but they had doubts. Their officials behaved well with me; told them that I can come again if need be,” Raut said.

This comes after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray removed the newly appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the post of Shiv Sena leader for indulging in “anti-party activities”.

Shinde has also “voluntarily” given up the membership of the party, therefore “in exercise of powers vested in me as Shiv Sena party president, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation,” said the letter from Thackeray.

Thackeray, who headed a coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress, stepped down as chief minister on 29 June after the Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. With 39 out of 55 Sena MLAs being part of Shinde’s camp, it was apparent that the government had lost its majority.

The Sena had earlier sought disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs, and also removed Shinde as the party’s leader in the Assembly. The Shinde camp, on the other hand, claimed that as they had majority, their group was the real Shiv Sena in the legislature.

The Eknath Shinde’s government in Maharashtra will face a Vote of Confidence on 4 July, to prove its majority in the State Assembly. The Special Session of the Maharashtra Assembly will be held on 3 and 4 July.

(With inputs from agencies)

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