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Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi says Eknath Shinde stabbed Uddhav Thackeray in the back.New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday hit back at rebel leader Eknath Shinde’s claim that the party was diverging from its ideology of Hindutva. “Which Hindutva teaches you to stab your party, which is like a family, in the back?” she said while speaking to NDTV, saying that the talk about ideology is just an alibi for the “BJP-backed” rebellion.The political turmoil in Maharashtra continues with the rebellion growing stronger against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, as Shiv Sena has now sought the disqualification of four more rebel MLAs. Latest developments suggest rebel leader Eknath Shinde has reached the critical number of MLAs, 37, required to split the party in the assembly without falling foul of the anti-defection law. Mr Shinde earlier asserted that the Sena’s alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress in Maharashtra is “unnatural”, and that it should restore its alliance with the BJP.Ms Chaturvedi was asked whether sections within the party were dissatisfied by the relatively progressive, softer image being projected, in particular by the Chief Minister’s son, Aaditya Thackeray. “Every party goes through churning, depending on which way the political narrative shifting in the state. To grow, we will need to understand the mood of the state. The BJP, too, is different from what it was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s times,” she said. She said this is not the cause of Mr Shinde’s actions: “He has the second most important ministry. His son is a member of Parliament… Mr Shinde is senior leader who was given Urban Development, which usually the Chief Minister keeps with himself.” She claimed that not all of those who appear to be with Mr Shinde will “stand against scrutiny”, adding, “We are constantly in touch with them; and they are in touch with us.” On party MP Sanjay Raut’s earlier statement that the Sena would consider breaking up the alliance with Congress and NCP if the rebels returned, Ms Chaturvedi explained, “That statement was thrown as challenge, that, instead of speaking to us from Guwahati, they should come to Mumbai and face us. Let them come and tell us. This was a challenge that exposed them further.” But is such a breakup still a possibility, she was asked. “A decision on the alliance cannot be forced upon us. We asked them to come and speak… it is too late for that now.”Asked when a floor test is likely in the assembly, Ms Chaturvedi said, “We will ask the speaker, deputy speaker, governor to first ask those MLAs to return. They cannot work from Guwahati hotel.”



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