A Shiv Sena MLA has said that the party should team up with the BJP again to save its leaders from being harassed by central agencies. In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, legislator Pratap Sarnaik has said the former allies must patch up, especially for the many upcoming corporation elections, including those of Mumbai and Thane.
Mr Sarnaik, who represents Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada constituency in the state Assembly, said though the BJP and the Shiv Sena are not allies anymore, their leaders have good relations and that “we should make use of this”.
“Several central agencies are behind me and other Shiv Sena leaders like Anil Parab and Ravindra Waikar, and they and their families are being harassed,” Mr Sarnaik wrote in his letter which reached the Chief Minister’s Office on June 10.
“If the Shiv Sena and the BJP come together again, these leaders can be spared such harassment,” he wrote.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had, last year, raided several properties belonging to Mr Sarnaik in connection with a money laundering case. His son, Vihang Sarnaik, too, was questioned by the agency.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government, had then accused the Centre of targeting the MLA.
Mr Sarnaik wrote in the letter that the Congress, which is an alliance partner in MVA, will go alone in the corporation polls, while the NCP, another alliance partner, is trying to lure and break away Shiv Sena’s own MLAs into their fold.
The Shiv Sena ended its long-term ties with the BJP in 2019 following a dispute over power-sharing in Maharashtra. The Sena then came to power in an alliance with ideological rivals, the NCP and Congress.