MUMBAI: The power tussle between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena dissident Eknath Shinde became intense on Sunday with Sena leaders, led by Sanjay Raut, launching an acerbic attack on the rebels while NCP chief Sharad Pawar held closed-door meetings with MVA leaders.
On the second day in a row, Shiv Sena cadres staged protests against the dissidents in various parts of the state, including Mumbai and Pune.
State minister Aaditya Thackeray, son of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, and Sena chief spokesman Sanjay Raut addressed party cadres in suburban Dahisar to drum up support for the beleaguered party leadership and slammed the Shinde camp.
Sharad Pawar met leaders of NCP, Congress ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan, and Shiv Sena's Anil Parab and Anil Desai to discuss the political fallout of the six-day-old rebellion.
Striking an aggressive note, Raut said the present crisis was an opportunity to resurrect Shiv Sena.
"We have learnt a lesson on whom to trust. These are bodies whose souls have died. Their mind is dead. 40 bodies will come from Assam and will be sent directly to the morgue for postmortem," Raut said in an apparent reference to the number of MLAs camping in Guwahati with Shinde while addressing Sena cadres.
Meanwhile, another Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister for higher and technical education, Uday Samant, has gone incommunicado and is reportedly on his way to Guwahati from Surat.
A 'passenger manifest' of an airport services company bearing the name of Uday Samant with destination Guwahati is doing rounds on social media.
So far, state cabinet ministers Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse, Sandipan Bhumre, and ministers of state Shamburaje Desai and Abdul Sattar (all Shiv Sena) have joined the camp of rebels.
Another minister Bachu Kadu of Prahar Janshakti Party and an Independent minister from Sena quota, Rajendra Yedravkar, are also been camping with Shinde.
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