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'You are still with Shiv Sena from the heart': Uddhav Thackeray writes to rebel MLAs

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Mumbai, Jun 28: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has reached out to the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs camping in Guwahati.

"You are still with Shiv Sena from the heart. You've been locked up for the last few days. Every day new information surfaces. Many of you are still in touch," Uddhav said in an emotional appeal.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

"It is not too late. I appeal to you to return and sit with me and remove the confusion (created by your actions) among Shiv Sainiks and the public," a statement by Thackeray's aide quoted him as saying.

"If you return and face me, some way could be found. As party president and family head, I still care for you," he said.

Thackeray's statement comes in the backdrop of rebel goup leader Eknath Shinde daring the party to disclose the names of some of the MLAs camping in Guwahati who were reportedly in touch with the party leadership.

Meanwhile, Eknath Shinde has claimed the support of 50 MLAs, including independents.

In what seems to be an apparent bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, dissident legislators of Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling coalition, have been camping in Guwahati, around 2,700 km away from Mumbai, since June 22.

A group of rebel Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLAs, led by minister Eknath Shinde, were taken to Surat from Mumbai on June 21 and then flown to Guwahati the next day.

The dissidents have named their group as "Shiv Sena (Balasaheb)".

The rebel group said it enjoys a two-thirds majority in the legislature party and will prove its strength in the House.

The Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat on Saturday issued summonses to 16 of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.

The MLAs, after receiving the notices, have been huddling inside the hotel since Sunday morning, discussing various options to respond to the notices.

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