Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh, who arrived in Guwahati along with fellow party MLAs on Wednesday from Surat, returned to his home state of Maharashtra with five other partymen within hours, sources said, as rebel Sena legislators remain encamped at a hotel in Guwahati.
Deshmukh, who arrived at Guwahati early this morning in a chartered aircraft from Surat, did not accompany Maharashtra's rebel minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs to a Guwahati hotel where his colleagues were lodged.
After remaining at Guwahati's Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport for a few hours, Deshmukh, along with five Shiv Sena activists, left for Nagpur in another chartered aircraft.
Deshmukh and the five Sena men were part of the 89-member entourage -- Maharashtra MLAs and others -- who had arrived in Guwahati early this morning from Surat.
After arriving in Nagpur, Deshmukh claimed that some people had forcibly admitted him to a hospital in Surat and he was administered injections though he never suffered a heart attack.
Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport, the Akola MLA said he somehow managed to return safely to Maharashtra and pledged loyalty to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
A day earlier, Deshmukh's wife had filed a complaint with the Akola police stating that her husband had gone missing.
Deshmukh represents the Balapur assembly seat in the Akola district in the Vidarbha region.
"I am a Shivsainik of Uddhav Thackeray and Balasaheb Thackeray. I am in good health. On Tuesday, I was taken to a hospital in Surat by 20-25 people and police personnel. They said I had suffered a heart attack but I never suffered any heart attack. My blood pressure also didn't shoot up. Their intention was wrong. I was given some injections forcibly," he claimed.
A day earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had claimed that some MLAs accompanying Shinde to Surat were misled and "kidnapped" to Gujarat.
He had said that Nitin Deshmukh was beaten up by the police and goondas under 'Operation Kamal' in Surat when he tried to escape and suffered a heart attack.
In her complaint filed with the Akola police, Deshmukh's wife had said that her husband had become unreachable from Monday night.
The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government is battling a survival crisis following the rebellion of senior Sena minister Eknath Shinde and a sizeable number of MLAs belonging to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Shinde had said he has 46 MLAs supporting him.
“I have more numbers (of Shiv Sena MLAs) than needed (to form a separate group in the Assembly without inviting the anti-defection law provisions),” he told a Marathi TV channel.
The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member State Assembly.
Reacting to Deshmukh's claims, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said this indicates "democracy is being murdered".
"From Nitin Deshmukh's explanation, one can understand how democracy is being murdered by stooping low. 'Satya Pareshan Ho Sakta Hai Parajit Nahi'. In this struggle, Congress is standing firmly with Shiv Sena and Mahavikas Aghadi!" he tweeted.