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Although the Mumbai Police are making preparations, including notifying airports, an official has stated that Mumbai Police does not know when the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs from Guwahati, Assam, will arrive in the city.

On June 21, a substantial number of MLAs, led by the party's Thane strongman Eknath Shinde, rebelled against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. They subsequently fled to BJP-ruled Assam and Surat in neighbouring Gujarat.

"We have alerted airports and have deployed personnel (bandobast). We have no idea, however, on when these MLAs will arrive here. The MLAs have asked the hotel management there (Guwahati) to extend their stay till June 28," added the official.

In the meantime, Uddhav Thackeray-supporting Shiv Sena members staged protests and rallies across the state. Sanjay Rathod's effigy was set ablaze as they organised a motorbike rally from the party mouthpiece's office in Prabhadevi to Dadar.

According to officials, several Shiv Sena members attempted to break into Osmanabad MLA Balaji Kalyankar's home. Sena members in Nashik staged mock funerals for the renegade MLAs during a protest march to the crematorium while chanting in favour of Uddhav Thackeray.

While the rebels' election to office was a result of the laborious efforts of the workers on the ground, officials said it did not prevent them from defrauding their constituents in order to gain power.

In the meantime, demonstrations in Shinde's favour took place as well, primarily in Thane and nearby Palghar and Raigad. According to officials, the residences of 16 rebel MLAs have received security from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) after Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal handed them notices asking them to respond to the Sena's request for their disqualification.

Aaditya Thackeray earlier criticised the rebellious Shiv Sena MLAs for having "monstrous ambitions" and claimed that, even if all of the party's lawmakers defected, the party would still win. He also stated that the state and party's doors are locked to the dissident MLAs while speaking to Sena supporters in Mumbai for the second day in a row.

"Contest elections again, we will ensure you are defeated," the 30-year-old son of Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said. Without naming the BJP, he said he felt ashamed that a party, which is in power at the Centre and Assam, have taken the MLAs from another ruling party from a different state and kept them in the north eastern state that is reeling under floods. The rebels were taken to Guwahati as "prisoners". About 12 to 14 MLAs are still in touch with us, Thackeray said.

(With PTI inputs)

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