Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday took a swipe at the rebel MLAs including Eknath Shinde camping at Guwahati as he said 40 MLAs in Assam are living corpses and their souls are dead.
Striking an aggressive note, Raut said, "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."
"They know what can happen in the fire that has been lit here," Raut said.
Majority of Shiv Sena MLAs have sided with Shinde and are currently camping in Guwahati, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the Sena, into a crisis.
"My open challenge to the rebels is to resign and seek a fresh mandate from their electorate. In the past, Chhagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane and their supporters had resigned as Sena MLAs to join other parties. Even (Union minister) Jyotiraditya Scindia supporters in Madhya Pradesh had resigned as Congress MLAs (in March 2020)," Raut told reporters here.
Raut also scoffed at Shinde's tweet last night, in which he urged the Sena workers to have faith in him and that he was trying to save the party from the "python clutches" of MVA allies.
"Don't know if these people are drugged. They have been in power for two-and-a-half years getting the most plum portfolios as ministers," Raut said.
A day earlier, rebel leader Eknath Shinde had accused the MVA government of withdrawing security from the residences of 38 party rebels, including himself, and their families, and dubbed the action as "political vendetta", although Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil denied any such move.
However, the Centre today extended Y-plus security cover of CRPF commandos to at least 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
The Sena hardened its stand against the rebels as the deadline set by the Maharashtra legislature secretariat for 16 rebel Sena MLAs, including Eknath Shinde, seeking written replies over the complaints seeking their disqualification neared. They had been told to file replies by the evening of June 27.
In Mumbai, a large number of party workers, including women, assembled outside the office of 'Saamana', at Prabhadevi and took out a two-wheeler rally raising slogans against Shinde and rebel MLAs.
A signboard carrying the name of Byculla MLA Yamini Jadhav, who is one of the rebels, was found blackened. The board is positioned under the Byculla bridge, a police official said.
Meanwhile, another Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister for higher and technical education, Uday Samant joined Eknath Shinde's camp today. So far, five Shiv Sena ministers have joined the camp of rebels, besides another minister Bachu Kadu of Prahar.