Dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Saturday alleged that the Maharashtra government has withdrawn the security cover provided at the residences of 16 rebel legislators, including himself, and dubbed the action as "political vendetta", although Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil denied any such move.
Shinde, who is currently camping in Guwahati with the rebel legislators, tweeted a letter signed by the 16 MLAs that is addressed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil.
In the letter, the legislators said CM Thackeray and the leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance will be responsible if any harm is caused to their family members.
In his tweet, Shinde alleged that the security cover of the 16 rebel Sena legislators was withdrawn on the orders of Thackeray and Walse Patil due to "political vendetta".
"The government is responsible for the security of these legislators," he added.
However, Walse Patil said the chief minister and the home department did not order the removal of security cover of any MLA in the state.
'Allegations being made through Twitter are false and malicious," he said.
In their letter, the legislators demanded that their security cover be reinstated.
"The sinister move is an attempt to break our resolve and arm-twist us to give into the demands of the MVA government comprising NCP and Congress goons. Various leaders of the MVA government are instigating the cadre of their respective parties to take up violence to intimidate us," it said.
"(Shiv Sena leader) Sanjay Raut has threatened us saying he would make it difficult for the MLAs who have left to return to the state and move around. The impact of these statements was borne by two of our members as their offices were vandalized by cadres of Shiv Sena merely after hours of withdrawing security of the MLAs," the letter added.
In Punjab, security of some high-profile persons was removed by the state government due to which most of the high profile persons became target of gangsters, the MLAs said.
"If our family members are harmed, then the chief minister, leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government like Sharad Pawar, Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray will be responsible," the letter said.
The security cover, which is provided at their residence as well as to their family members as per the protocol, has been withdrawn illegally and unlawfully as an act of revenge, it said.
The MLAs who have signed the letter are Eknath Shinde (Kopri-Pachpakhadi assembly segment), Bharat Gogavale (Mahad), Vishwanath Bhoir (Kalyan West), Mahendra Thorve (Karjat), Shantaram More (Bhiwandi rural), Shrinivas Wanga (Palghar), Lata Sonavane (Chopda), Sanjay Shirsat (Aurangabad West), Dynanraj Chaugule (Umerga), Yamini Jadhav (Byculla), Shahaji Patil (Sangola), Tanaji Sawant (Paranda), Shambhuraj Desai (Patan), Mahesh Shinde (Koregaon), Prakash Surve (Magathane) and Sanjayt Raimulkar (Mehekar).
The MVA government has been facing a crisis of survival after a majority of Sena MLAs shifted their loyalty to Shinde and are camping in Guwahati.