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Maharashtra crisis: Sanjay Raut accuses BJP of threatening Sharad Pawar, BJP responds

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Mumbai, Jun 24: Amid the political turmoil in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday accused Union Minister of threatening Sharad Pawar.

"A central minister of the BJP has said that if attempts are made to save MVA govt, then Sharad Pawar will not be allowed to go home. Whether or not the MVA govt survives, use of such language for Sharad Pawar is not acceptable," Raut tweeted in Hindi.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut

"Threats are being given to Sharad Pawar ji by a Central minister. Do such threats have the support of Modi Ji and Amit Shah Ji?...We are taking action to disqualify the (rebel) MLAs," Raut told reporters.

"Eknath Shinde faction that's challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads," he said.

"Process underway to disqualify 12 MLAs (of Eknath Shinde faction), their numbers are only on the papers. Shiv Sena is a big ocean such waves come and go," Sena MP added.

The BJP, in 'wait-and-watch' mode ahead of the Assembly session next month - has denied any threats to Sharad Pawar.

"No central minister is giving threats. BJP is not trying to destabilise the government. This is an internal matter of the Shiv Sena. BJP is only in wait-and-watch position," Raosaheb Patil Danve, the junior Railways minister, said.

As the political situation heats up in Maharashtra, all 37 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who are camping in Guwahati on Thursday sent a letter to Maharashtra Assembly's Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, stating that Eknath Shinde will remain their group leader in the legislature.

Shinde has asserted that he heads the real Shiv Sena and is set to apply for a staking claim for the party symbol. This will be opposed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction.

The 2/3rd split in a political party, to avoid disqualification of MLAs, should happen in the legislature party and not the original party since membership there runs into lakhs, and difficult to ascertain a vertical split.

The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 55 MLAs, followed by allies NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288 assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144.

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The BJP has 106 MLAs of its own and is backed by one lawmaker each from the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, the Swabhimani Paksh, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, the Jan Surajya Party and six independents, taking its tally with allies to 116.

Shinde is currently camping in Guwahati city of Assam with nearly 50 rebel Sena MLAs, including independents.

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