Two UBT Lok Sabha MPs in touch with Eknath Shinde, claims Sena leader; Uddhav group hits back

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New Delhi/ Mumbai, Jun 8 (PTI) The Shiv Sena on Saturday claimed two newly elected Lok Sabha members from Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena (UBT) were in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Hitting back, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sachin Ahir said the claim is being made out of fear and desperation as Shiv Sena lawmakers are now apprehensive over who will be their alliance face when they contest polls in the state, which will be held in the second half of the year.

Addressing a press conference here, Shiv Sena spokesperson Naresh Mhaske refused to name the two Lok Sabha members citing the anti-defection law, but said that four more lawmakers would soon join the two and cross over to the Shinde-led party.

"The two Lok Sabha members were unhappy with the manner in which Uddhav Thackeray sought votes from a particular community, who came in busloads," Mhaske, the newly elected Lok Sabha member from Thane, said.

Mhaske said while two Lok Sabha members from Thackeray camp were in touch, four more would join them and support Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi.

Mhaske's remarks came against the backdrop of Shiv Sena(UBT) leader Sanjay Raut's claim that Shinde faction's MLAs and MPs were keen to rejoin Thackeray.

The Shinde-led Shiv Sena won seven Lok Sabha seats, while the Thackeray faction won nine seats.

Speaking on the claims, Sachin Ahir said his party's position was clear about not having any truck with those who rebelled against the leadership and Uddhav Thackeray.

Ahir asserted some MPs from the Shinde faction who were denied tickets had approached the Shiv Sena (UBT) but the latter refused to indulge them even if it meant losing seats. PTI SKU TIR PR BNM

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