Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik says party should renew ties with BJP

Sarnaik, the MLA from Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada constituency, has been facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case

Pratap Sarnaik. File Pic

Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik on Wednesday said the party should renew ties with the BJP, as the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government faces a crisis following a revolt by a section of Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.

Sarnaik, the MLA from Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada constituency, has been facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. He had last year written a letter to Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, saying the party should team up with the BJP to save its leaders from action by central agencies.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Sarnaik said, “I had first mooted the idea that the Shiv Sena should go with the BJP.”

Sarnaik had in his letter to the CM last year said though the BJP and the Shiv Sena are not allies anymore, their leaders have good relations and the Sena should make use of this.

Notably, the ED had recently attached assets worth over Rs 11 crore of Sarnaik in the money laundering case linked to the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL).

A number of politicians and ministers of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which comprises the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, in the state have faced ED action in the recent past.

On Wednesday morning, a group of 40 Maharashtra MLAs, led by dissident leader Eknath Shinde, arrived in Guwahati and they were taken to a luxury hotel on the outskirts of the city amid tight security.

Earlier, the MLAs were taken to Surat in Gujarat from Mumbai on Tuesday, and the decision to shift them to Guwahati in Assam was taken on security grounds, according to a BJP source. 

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Originally published at www.mid-day.com

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