Shinde unmoved, but did have conversation with Uddhav Thackeray

Surat, Jun 21 (IANS): Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's emissaries were successful in establishing contact between Thackeray and dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, but sources said Shinde was unmoved and had some tough questions for Thackeray.

Thackeray on Tuesday afternoon deputed two leaders -- Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak to drive to Surat and have a one-on-one meeting with Eknath Shinde. Sources said that after almost one-and-a-half hour close door meeting, Milind left for Mumbai. Before leaving his statement was, "Eknath Shinde had telephonic conversation with Uddhav Thackeray."

But sources close to the development said, Eknath Shinde was unmoved even after the meeting with Navrekar and Phatak, on the contrary he put some tough questions to them.

Shinde put question to the emissary, "Even when I am still an MLA and a minister in the cabinet, how can the Chief Minister remove me as legislative party leader?"

It said that he also conveyed to Thackeray that he should mind his business and Eknath will mind his own. Shinde confidently conveyed that he has numbers with him and does not need to worry about others.

After Phatak and Narvekar reached Surat, they were stopped by the police near the hotel Le Meridien where dissident MLAs have checked in since Monday night. Only after Eknath agreed to meet, they were allowed to enter the hotel.

Navrekar, however, did not say whether they were allowed to meet any other Shiv Sena MLAs who are also holed up in the hotel.

Sources from Surat said, the number of dissident MLAs is increasing and by the evening two more MLAs including a female one has reached the hotel. Earlier, only 30 rooms were booked in the hotel, now 20 more have been booked.



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