"Will Return To Maharashtra When...": Rebel Sena MLA

Rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar said, "We will arrive at a decision in three or four days and thereafter, we will directly go back to Maharashtra"

'Will Return To Maharashtra When...': Rebel Sena MLA

The rebel faction of Eknath Shinde today claimed that that the eventual number of Sena MLAs supporting them will cross 50. "We will arrive at a decision in three or four days and thereafter, we will directly go back to Maharashtra," said rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar.

"One to two more MLAs will come and join us. With their support and other Independents, our strength will be increased to 51," Mr Kesarkar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The rebel faction currently has more than 40 Sena MLAs, their total number is 55.

This afternoon, Uday Sawant became the ninth Maharashtra minister to join the rebel camp. The rebels claim they have a two-thirds majority, which would enable them to split the party in the assembly without invoking the disqualification laws.

The Thackeray faction has got disqualification notices for 16 MLAs from the Deputy Speaker.

Sources in the camp have also claimed that at least 20 MLAs camping with Eknath Shinde are in touch with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Many of them disagree with Mr Shinde's plan to rule the state in alliance with the BJP.

Mr Kesarkar, one of the more vocal MLAs of the rebel faction, has been named its spokesperson.

Yesterday, amid the battle for control over the party, Mr Kesarkar had told reporters that they have the numbers, "But we respect chief Uddhav Thackeray and our faction won't merge with any other party".

Mr Kesarkar further demanded recognition of their group "Shiv Sena Balasaheb" and warned that they would go to court if it is not done.

Despite being reduced to a minority, the Team Thackeray has also written to the Election Commission against the Shinde faction's move to call themselves "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" and stake claim for the party symbol.