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Still hoping rebel MPs will return, Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena is still in talks with them: Sanjay Raut

Sanjay Raut has claimed that the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, is confident of winning 100 seats if midterm elections are held in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. ANI

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said on Tuesday that his party “remains hopeful” that rebel Sena MPs, who joined the Eknath Shinde group, will return to Uddhav Thackeray’s faction.

Invoking a Hindi idiom, Raut said it’s never too late for a person to realize their mistake. He also said his party was “still in talks with the rebels”.

“We still hope that these deputies will come back… We were still in talks with the rebels… They are our people, they will come back. ‘Subha ka bhoola agar shaam ko ghar aa jaye to usse bhoola nahi kehte’,” a said Sanjay Raut.

The Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, has a total of 55 MPs in the Maharashtra Assembly, 40 of whom, including Eknath Shinde, rebelled against him last month.

Raut also claimed that Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, is confident of winning 100 seats if midterm elections are held in Maharashtra. “We are confident of winning 100 seats as Shivsena…Uddhav Thackeray had said there should be mid-term polls and it would be clear…who will win and who will lose,” he said .

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena and the BJP alliance government won the vote of confidence, winning 164 votes in his favor in the 288-member Assembly, Raut said.

Speaking to the media today, Raut said no one can hijack Shiv Sena with money. “The Shiv Sena belongs to Baba Thackeray. Cannot belong to anyone else. You cannot hijack it with money. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that not only money , but something else has also been given. It will be a great revelation when that ‘something’ is revealed.” said the Shiv Sena MP.

On Monday, Raut questioned the legitimacy of the Eknath Shinde faction and said the group could not claim to be the original Shiv Sena. “We will definitely challenge it in court. The Shinde faction left the Shiv Sena, so how can they claim that their group is the original party, and not the one led by Uddhav Thackeray. The name Thackeray is synonymous with Shiv Sena”, He had said.

The Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray Shiv Sena factions are already waging a legal battle in the Supreme Court.

With contributions from agencies

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