Mumbai, Jun 24 (IANS): As the political crisis entered the fourth day, the rebel Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde claimed the support of "40-plus MLAs", besides around 12 independents and smaller parties, on Friday.
Speaking to the media from Guwahati, Shinde also dismissed the 'warning' issued by Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar that the rebel legislators would have to come to Mumbai before the Governor or the Legislature to prove their strength.
"We are not scared by such threats... Whatever we are doing is absolutely legal. We have the affidavits of all the MLAs that they have joined us voluntarily. The majority numbers are with us, more than 40 Sena MLAs plus 12 independents and others," Shinde asserted.
A day after telling his supporters that they would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the breakaway group leader on Friday denied meeting any BJP leaders in Guwahati.
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress has accused the BJP of instigating the revolt to topple the 30-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) as the three alliance partners decided to stick together till the end.
State Congress Minister Dr. Nitin Raut on Friday accused the BJP of "murdering democracy" by engineering the rebellion in the Sena ranks.