Dec 25, 2006 at 06:15pm IST

Nobody's quitting Shiv Sena: Uddhav

Mumbai: Shiv Sena’s executive President Uddhav Thackeray on Monday dismissed reports that some Sena MPs were quitting and termed them as “baseless rumours".

Uddhav said the issue was not discussed at a meeting of party MPs held in Mumbai on Monday.

When asked if all the MPs were present at the meeting, Uddhav informed that except Tukaram Renge Patil, who could not attend the meeting because of a puja at home, all the other MPs were present.

ALIVE AND SHOOTING: Uddhav said Bal Thackeray will be the star campaigner for the upcoming municipal elections.

"We don't discuss rumours," Uddhav was quoted by news agency PTI as saying when asked if reports (about some MPs on way out of Sena) were discussed.

Subodh Mohite, whose name recently figured along with that of Prakash Paranjpe in the list of displeased Sena MPs, was also present at the meeting.

"He is there upstairs", Uddhav said.

Talking about seat sharing with BJP for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, Uddhav said, "Talks with BJP were nearing completion".

The meeting was addressed by Sena chief Bal Thackeray at Shiv Sena Bhawan in central Mumbai.

Bal Thackeray will be the star campaigner for the upcoming elections and would address public meetings in Mumbai and Thane, Uddhav said.

Uddhav clarified the Sena chief's statement of last year in which he had said that he would not address election campaign meeting.

“He had said it in connection with by-polls,” Uddhav was quoted as saying by PTI.

Mumbai contributes almost 40 per cent of total income tax collection but gets little in return, Uddhav said.

"I have asked Sena MPs to raise the issue in Parliament and demand that the city gets at least 25 per cent of its contribution in return", he added.

Asked about the challenge posed by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena floated by his cousin Raj Thackeray who parted ways with Shiv Sena last year, Uddhav said, "It is not a challenge".

Uddhav expressed his dismay over the "inability" of Dalit leaders' to respond to the call for unity of `Shiv Shakti (Sainiks) and Bheem Shakti (Ambedkar's followers).