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Grassroot Shiv Sainiks still with party: Aaditya Thackeray

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Mumbai, July 10: Former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday claimed the grassroot Shiv Sena workers were firmly with the organisation, despite "betrayal" by those whom the party trusted.

File photo of Aaditya Thackeray

Speaking in Mumbai's northern suburb Dahisar as part of his 'Nishtha (loyalty) Yatra', Aaditya Thackeray said those who wanted to leave the Sena have gone, but the grassroot Shiv Sainiks continue to support the party, led by his father and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Last month, a majority of the Sena MLAs, led by Eknath Shinde, rebelled against the party leadership, asking it to snap ties with the NCP and the Congress.

The revolt in the party led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister, while BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy CM.

Since the revolt, both the factions, led by Uddhav Thackeray and CM Shinde, have repeatedly claimed to be the real Shiv Sena.

"In each constituency, we have two to three formidable Shiv Sainiks...men and women who are ready to take on political rivals at the hustings," said Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray.

Later, talking to reporters, the former minister said the Shiv Sena has been "betrayed" by those it trusted.

"Those who are happy to leave should have the guts to face fresh elections. The doors of 'Matoshree' (the private residence of Thackerays in suburban Bandra) are open to all those who wish to return," he said.

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