Day after Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik wrote a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray pressing for an alliance with BJP, Congress has slammed the Centre for pressuring MVA leaders through Central agencies.
Congress' Sachin Sawant took to Twitter to speak about the same. Posting an excerpt from the letter by Sarnaik to Thackeray, Sawant wrote, "Pratap Sarnaik's comments show his disturbed mindset and also show how BJP is using Central agencies against the Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders."
For the uninitiated, Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik, who is currently facing an inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the money laundering case, has dropped a letter bomb urging Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that the party should soon patch up with its former ally BJP.
Sarnaik has suggested that if Shiv Sena and the BJP come together again, it would benefit the party and the workers especially with the upcoming corporation elections, including those of Mumbai and Thane.
The Shiv Sena and BJP should team up as NCP and Congress are weakening the party and they are out to lure and break away Shiv Sena's own MLAs into their fold. “We believe in you and your leadership but NCP and Congress are trying to weaken our party,’’ he claimed.
“Though the BJP and the Shiv Sena are not allies anymore, their leaders have good relations and that we should make use of this. Several central agencies are behind me and other Shiv Sena leaders like Anil Parab and Ravindra Waikar, and they and their families are being harassed," Sarnaik said in his letter, which reached the Chief Minister's Office on June 10.
“There seems to be veiled support from the Centre; no Central agency is behind NCP leaders," said Sarnaik. He further stated that the central agencies are dragging him in various cases adding that it would stop if the party aligns with the BJP.
"If the Shiv Sena and the BJP come together again, these leaders can be spared such harassment," he said.
He appealed to Thackeray to get closer with PM Narendra Modi as NCP and Congress want their own CM. Congress wants to contest alone, and NCP is trying to break away from Shiv Sena.
Sarnaik’s letter went viral a day after Thackeray, at the party’s 55th anniversary function, said that people will not tolerate self-centred politics adding that people would "beat with footwear" those who only talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people's problems. Sarnaik’s letter also came days after Thackeray held an exclusive 30-minute meeting with PM Modi.
Shiv Sena is not sure whether Sarnaik has written the letter on his own or under pressure. Sarnaik was targeted by the BJP for lack of his appearance in his Ovala-Majiwada constituency for a long time. However, two days ago he along with his family members inaugurated an ambulance service. He also clarified that he was devoting his attention to the family, as his wife was unwell.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's media advisor Harshal Pradhan told Free Press Journal, ''It was Sarnaik’s personal view.''
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, said Sarnaik has raised a serious issue of unnecessary harassment by central investigating agencies and that needs to be looked into. “An MLA has written to the chief minister. What should I say about this? However, he has, if the letter is authentic, raised a very important issue that MLAs of Maha Vikas Aghadi are being harassed,’’ he added.
On the other hand, state NCP chief Jayant Patil has refuted Sarnaik’s charges that NCP was poaching into Sena and breaking its leaders. “In recent times no one from Shiv Sena has joined NCP or Congress. Sarnaik should check who has migrated to other parties from his own constituency,’’ he added.