I was also offered to join rebel group in Guwahati, says Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut
Mumbai, July 02: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut made a startling revelation on Saturday that he was "given the offer" to go to Guwahati and join Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs.
Speaking to the media after Maharashtra 'powerplay', Raut asserted that no one could separate the Thackerays from Shiv Sena.
"I also got an offer for Guwahati but I follow Balasaheb Thackeray and so I didn't go there. When the truth is on your side, why fear? No one can separate Thackeray from Shiv Sena," he said.
Raut, who on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate to record his statement in an alleged money laundering case, said ED officials "behaved well" with him.
"As a responsible citizen and MP, it's my duty to appear if an investigative agency (ED) summons me. Problem is with timing- amid Maharashtra political crisis but they had doubts. Their officials behaved well with me; told them that I can come again if need be," Raut said.
This comes after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray removed the newly appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde from the post of Shiv Sena leader for indulging in "anti-party activities".
In a massive political twist, Thackeray, who headed a coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress, stepped down as chief minister on 29 June. Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Maharashtra, while BJP stalwart Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy chief minister, capping a day of surprises and hectic political activities, just 24 hours after the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
In a surprise move, Fadnavis announced in the evening that Shinde, who led the rebellion in the Shiv Sena, will be the new chief minister, while he himself will be out of the new government, only to change his stand and become the deputy CM following prodding from his party's central leadership.
The Eknath Shinde's government in Maharashtra will face a Vote of Confidence on 4 July, to prove its majority in the State Assembly. The Special Session of the Maharashtra Assembly will be held on 3 and 4 July.