Mr Shirsat said the rebel MLAs accompanying Mr Shinde got new clothes after reaching Surat, where they were lodged in a luxury hotel, on June 21. The revolt by a section of Sena MLAs, led by Mr Shinde — now the chief minister of Maharashtra — subsequently brought down the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The dissident group later left for Guwahati from Surat and also stayed in Goa before coming back to Mumbai after Chief Minister Shinde took oath on June 30 along with his deputy Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP.
“The MLAs who went to Surat before leaving for Guwahati didn’t have enough clothes. When we told about this to Eknath Shinde, literally a cloth shop was set up in the hotel in Surat. There we got new clothes,” he told reporters in Aurangabad.
After the revolt, the MLA from Aurangabad (West) wrote a letter to Shiv Sena president and then-CM Uddhav Thackeray, explaining the reasons behind dissident legislators turning against the leadership of the saffron party.
Mr Shirsat said initially the rebel MLAs did not know where they were headed and just went along their leader Mr Shinde without luggage.
“We were completely unaware about where we were going. But when Eknath Shinde told us to come with him, we all didn’t ask anything…just accompanied him. We reached around 2 am in a Surat hotel (on June 21). But none of the MLAs had brought clothes with them,” he said.
They approached Mr Shinde and everything fell in place immediately, the MLA said.
“‘We told about this to Eknath Shinde. Then, very next morning a vehicles full of clothes came in the hotel. It was like a cloth shop has come up in the hotel. There everyone took clothes of their choice. Not only clothes, material needed for shaving and footwears were also made available to us in the Surat hotel,” Mr Shirsat said.
“But Eknath Shinde didn’t get the clothes of the pattern he wanted. Mr Shinde’s clothes came from Thane to Surat later,” he added.
Thane is the political home of Mr Shinde, who is an MLA from the city adjoining Mumbai.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited and is published from a syndicated feed.)