In a sensational revelation, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday claimed that for the past one year, some senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have been indirectly forcing him to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"Some senior leaders are meeting me continuously attempting to convince me not to continue supporting the MVA as they have made all preparations to bring it down. They even showed me a list of 22 NCP and Sena MLAs who will be slapped with cases, arrested and forced to quit the government," Raut contended.
However, he made it clear that all efforts and threats by the BJP using the CBI or ED or any other agency, send notices or arrests, to browbeat the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress will not succeed and they cannot even "harm a hair" of the MVA government.
"This is a political war and we shall only fight it politically." Raut declared.
Raut was addressing a press conference after his wife has been sent a notice from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) - which he has denied - seeking her appearance on Dec. 29, speaking off a massive row in the state.
"Don't take 'panga' with me I am the late Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik I will expose you all I have a list of 120 BJP leaders (scams) which the ED can investigate for five years. They will have to take flight like Nirav Modi or Vijay Mallya to foreign countries," Raut warned.
The Sena's Chief Spokesperson also accused the ED of allegedly leaking out sensitive information pertaining to various cases to some BJP leaders.
"Since past few months, 3 BJP leaders regularly visit the ED office and collect documents. I have proof of this. How does the BJP come to know what cases the ED is probing, have they entered into an alliance with each other? Has the ED set up a desk in BJP office or has BJP kept a table in the ED office," Raut asked sharply.
He said only those people who speak againt the BJP or those who were instrumental in forming the MVA government in Maharashtra are being targeted through ED notices, and now this harassment has been extended even to their family members.
"This is 'na-mardangi' (impotency) If anybody indulges in such 'na-mardangi', Shiv Sena will retaliate appropriately. We will not hide behind women like you. We shall fight in the open as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has taught us," he said firmly.
Issuing a veiled threat, he warned that the day "I open my mouth, the BJP at the Centre will face big problems", but reiterated that the Sena remains unfazed by one notice or 100 summonses.
Meanwhile, a large number of Shiv Sena's women wing activists led by Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar staged a protest outside the Sena Bhavan (the party's headquarters) and raised anti-BJP slogans.
Another group of Sena activists demonstrated outside the ED offices by putting up a banner outside its office proclaiming "BJP State Office", which was removed later by the police.
Simultaneously, the party's Vibhag Pramukhs (District Presidents) gathered for a meeting at the Sena Bhavan to discuss the situation arising out of the ED summons to Varsha Raut seeking her appearance on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Sena-NCP-Congress leaders joined ranks and came out in support of each other while unitedly slamming the BJP at the Centre.
( With inputs from IANS )