Sena Rebel Dials Raj Thackeray, Discusses Maharashtra Situation: Report

Eknath Shinde spoke to Raj Thackeray twice and discussed the "recent political situation in Maharashtra" and his health, according to a leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Sena Rebel Dials Raj Thackeray, Discusses Maharashtra Situation: Report

Raj Thackeray quit the Shiv Sena and founded his own party in 2006. (File photo)

New Delhi:

Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde, leading an unprecedented coup against party boss and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, spoke to his estranged cousin Raj Thackeray on the phone, according to reports.

Eknath Shinde spoke to Raj Thackeray twice and discussed the "recent political situation in Maharashtra" and his health, according to a leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Raj Thackeray, the MNS chief, was discharged from hospital last evening and Mr Shinde asked after his health, said the leader.

"Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde spoke to MNS chief Raj Thackeray over the phone twice. Shinde spoke to Thackeray about the recent political situation in Maharashtra and enquired about his health," news agency ANI quoted the MNS leader as saying, without naming him.

Raj Thackeray quit the Shiv Sena and founded his own party in 2006. Cousins Uddhav and Raj Thackeray split on bitter terms and often exchange barbs.

Eknath Shinde claims he has the support of 38 Shiv Sena MLAs, enough to claim in the assembly that his group is the real Sena.

He has challenged decisions by the Maharashtra Deputy Speaker, who belongs to Sena ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), including his replacement as Sena legislative party leader and the disqualification notices to 16 rebel MLAs. The Supreme Court will hear the petitions by Mr Shinde and by other rebel MLAs.

The Sena rebels, led by Mr Shinde, have been staying at a hotel in Assam's Guwahati since Wednesday.

The group calls themselves the "Shiv Sena Balasaheb" after Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray's father.

On Sunday, Mr Shinde tweeted that the rebel MLAs were willing to die for Hindutva.

"Even if we have to die to follow the ideology of Hindutva, we will consider it as our destiny," he said.

His remark came after Uddhav Thackeray's loyalist Sanjay Raut called the rebel MLAs "living corpses" whose "souls are dead".

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