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The Shiv Sena is ready to consider exiting the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition formed with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress if the rebel MLAs return to Mumbai within 24 hours and have a discussion regarding this with the chief minister, said party leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday. 

"You say you are real Shiv Sainiks and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks...Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added.

Raut further claimed that 21 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted Shiv Sena and when they return to Mumbai they will be with the party.

"Uddhav Thackeray will come back to Varsha very soon. 21 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted us and when they return to Mumbai, they will be with us," he added.

CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by MLA Eknath Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra.

However, Raut had asserted that Thackeray will not resign and the ruling MVA will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.

The Shiv Sena formed the MVA after breaking its ties with the BJP post-Assembly polls in 2019.

But the present rebellion broke out after suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats. 

NCP and Shiv Sena won two each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday.

After the MLC elections, Shinde along with some other Shiv Sena MLAs was staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat. In the early hours of Wednesday, Shinde and rebel MLAs accompanying him were flown to Guwahati.

‘No access to CM’

MLAs have since expressed that they have felt sidelined after the alliance with NCP and Congress.

Eknath Shinde on Thursday tweeted a letter addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and captioned it "This is the sentiment of MLAs".

According to the letter, the Shiv Sena leaders don't have access to the chief minister's residence.

"CM never used to be in the Secretariat, instead, he used to be in Matoshree (Thackeray residence). We used to call people around the CM but they never used to attend our calls. We were fed up with all these things and persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step," the MLA wrote in the letter.

"It was nice to see people are being allowed inside your Bungalow but these doors were closed for the elected MLAs. We came with our problems in our constituencies and other work, but were made to remain outside for hours together. On the other hand,Eknath Shinde was accessible. We stood at the gates of Varsha for hours. It was only Eknath Shinde who supported us," it added. 

"People around the CM used to decide if we can meet him or not. We felt we were insulted. CM never used to be in the Secretariat, instead, he used to be in Matoshree (Thackeray residence). We used to call people around the CM but they never used to attend our calls. We were fed up with all these things and persuaded Eknath Shinde to take this step."

Notably, a total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs are present with Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde while only 13 are with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena.

In a fresh video from Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, rebel Maharashtra MLAs including Eknath Shinde was seen sit together and raising slogans of "Shinde sa'ab tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain."

Of the 42 rebel MLAs, 34 MLAs are from Shiv Sena and eight are Independent MLAs.

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