Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut has written to the United Nations, urging it to declare June 20 as “World Traitors Day” to mark the “desertion” of his party chief Uddhav Thackeray by 40 Shiv Sena MLAs, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Raut said that on June 20 (last year), a group of 40 legislators from the Shiv Sena broke away from their party after being “instigated” by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Each of them is said to have taken Rs 50 crore to defect,” said Raut in the letter, a claim rubbished by the legislators.
The letter dated June 19 was tweeted by him on Tuesday.
“The 40 MLAs who stabbed us were led by a leading legislator Eknath Shinde (who is now the CM of Maharashtra). Along with them, 10 Independents supporting the Maha Vikas Aghadi government left us,” Raut said.
He said the process began on June 20 when Shinde and others left Mumbai for the neighbouring state of Gujarat.
“They deserted Uddhav Thackeray who was an ailing man and underwent two major surgeries on November 12 and November 19, 2021,” Raut said.
Each one of them took advantage of Thackeray’s illness, he said in the letter.
“I am appealing to you to make June 20 as World Traitors Day just as June 21 is observed as World Yoga Day. This must be done so that the world remembers traitors,” he said.
The rebellion by 39 MLAs spearheaded by Shinde led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government last year. While it also split the 57-year-old party, the Election Commission of India later allotted the Shiv Sena name and its bow-and-arrow symbol to the Shinde camp.
Separately, Shiv Sena (UBT) party workers on Tuesday also observed June 20 as ‘World Traitors Day’ in different parts of the state.