Sena Rebel Eknath Shinde Changes Track, Denies Contact With 'National Party'

Asked if BJP was backing his group, Eknath Shinde told a TV channel, "When I said a big power is backing us, I meant the power of Balasaheb Thackeray and (late Shiv Sena leader) Anand Dighe."

Sena Rebel Eknath Shinde Changes Track, Denies Contact With 'National Party'

A video released Thursday showed Eknath Shinde claiming the support of a "national party". (File)

Mumbai:

A day after claiming that a "powerful national party" was supporting his group of MLAs in the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde on Friday said no national party is in contact with them.

Asked if BJP was backing his group, Mr Shinde told a TV channel, "When I said a big power is backing us, I meant the power of Balasaheb Thackeray and (late Shiv Sena leader) Anand Dighe."

Responding to a query on when will the political crisis in Maharashtra end, Mr Shinde, a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state, said things will be clear after some time.

"Out of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs, 40 have come with me to Guwahati. In a democracy, the majority and numbers count. So nobody has the right to take any action against us," Mr Shinde said, when asked about the Sena approaching the Assembly Deputy Speaker for action against the rebel MLAs.

A video released by Mr Shinde's aides on Thursday evening showed him addressing the rebel MLAs, and claiming the support of a "national party".

He said: "No matter what happens, we will win. As you said, that is a national party, a superpower. Pakistan...you know what happened."

"They have told me, that the decision taken by us is historic. You have all the strength of ours. If you need anything, we will not let you down. This will be experienced whenever we will need any help," Mr Shinde said.

Minutes later, NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a press conference in which he read out the names of national parties in the country, and asked which entity other than the BJP could be behind this.

"The Maharashtra Assembly is where (the state) government's majority will be decided after a floor test and not Guwahati (where the rebel group is camping)," Mr Pawar had said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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