- Uddhav Thackeray asks legislators to visit drought-hit areas in the state
- One legislator sends his substitute to a village in Osmanabad district
- The proxy says there is no truth to the claim, and the "news is false"
While Mr Chabukswar was unavailable for comment, Mr Fanse told NDTV that there is no truth to the claim, the "news is false" and he has nothing more to add.
Meanwhile, sources in the Shiv Sena say that the party has ordered an internal inquiry in the matter and demanded an explanation from both Gautam Chabukswar and Yashodhar Fanse.
The visit was supposed to be held as part of the 'Shiv Sampath Abhiyan', launched by the Shiv Sena in which party MLAs visit drought-hit areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha.
The Shiv Sena has never shied away from hitting out at the BJP government, its ally in the state, on the issue of farmers suicides. The Sena chief continues to criticise the state government for "doing nothing" for farmers who are forced to end their lives. The party claims if the trend continues, the "government too will one fine day die a casual death".
But now this issue has brought huge embarrassment for the party as out of 40 Shiv Sena legislators asked by Mr Thackeray to visit the drought-hit districts, as many as 27 didn't bother to do as directed, according to reports. The defiant Sena leaders have brushed it off as "one person's mistake".
Meanwhile, other political parties have slammed Sena over the matter.
BJP spokesperson Shaina NC said it's ironic that certain parties choose to attack the government but when it comes to their own MLAs, they are sending proxy candidates to make important tours.
"It is not for us to sit on moral judgement but it is clearly for their leadership to take disciplinary action. You talk about empathising with the farmers but when it comes to actually interacting with them, you're sending a dummy candidate. What does that speak of you?" she said.