Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday described rebel Maharashtra MLAs currently camping in Guwahati as “living corpses” and said that they would be sent for a postmortem examination on their return, The Indian Express reported.

Raut made the statement at a party rally in Mumbai’s Dahisar area.

“When they [rebel MLAs] step out of Assam, they will not be alive at heart,” the Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson said. “They know what can happen in the fire which has been lit here now. The dead bodies of all these 40 MLAs will come to Mumbai, we will directly send them to the mortuary for postmortem.”

Raut added: “There is a temple in Guwahati where buffaloes are sacrificed. These 40 buffaloes have gone there to be sacrificed.”

In response the the statement, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar alleged that Raut was inciting party workers, ANI reported. “It is a very indecent statement,” he said. “What kind of language has he used? He is a Member of Parliament.”

Kesarkar remarked that no party should have a spokesperson like Raut. “He is on a mission to finish the party,” he said. “It is because of his statements that all the MLAs are angry and more are joining us.”

The Shiv Sena MP subsequently said that he did not want to hurt anyone’s sentiments but he spoke the truth, according to ANI.

“I will repeat it – ‘those who stay in a party for 40 years and then run away, their souls are dead, they do not have anything left in them’. These are the lines said by [freedom fighter and socialist leader] Dr Ram Manohar Lohia.”

The Maharashtra government is currently in the middle of a political crisis that began when minister Eknath Shinde went to Surat with a group of rebel MLAs last week. He is now camping with them at a hotel in Guwahati.

Since the crisis began, Raut has frequently said that the rebel MLAs would face consequences once they return to their home state. “For how long will you hide in Guwahati?” he had said on Twitter on Sunday. “You will have to return to Chowpatty [a reference to Mumbai].”

Raut had also posted a photo of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who has the power to decide on the disqualification of the rebel MLAs and the splitting of the Shiv Sena.

The rebel MLAs are demanding that the Shiv Sena should cut ties with its alliance partners – the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress. On Sunday, Shinde had said that the rebel MLAs are “even ready to face death” for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and his beliefs about Hindutva.

On the same day, the faction had approached the Supreme Court challenging disqualification notices sent to 16 of them by Zirwal.

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