REBEL Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra was an “unnatural alliance” and it was imperative for his party to walk out of the coalition with the NCP and the Congress for its own sake and that of party workers.
Shinde’s reaction came hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reached out to the rebels, saying he would quit his post if even one Sena MLA comes and tells him on his face that he was incompetent.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde claimed the support of 46 MLAs, showing no signs of backing down from his rebellion, which has pushed the two-and-a-half-year old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas
Aghadi (MVA) Government to the brink, party MP Sanjay Raut on said the ongoing political developments in Maharashtra could lead to dissolution of the State Assembly.
The Sena strongman Eknath Shinde, a Cabinet Minister, said the MVA, formed in November 2019, was beneficial only to alliance partners the Congress and the NCP, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s existence.
“It is necessary to quit the unnatural alliance for the sake of Shiv Sainiks and the Shiv Sena. It is important to take a decision in the interest of the state,” Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati along with rebel Sena MLAs, tweeted.
His tweets were in Marathi with #Hindutvaforever.
Shinde maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.
Shinde, who has appointed his own chief whip of the Sena legislature, said he has 46 MLAs supporting him. “I have more numbers (of Shiv Sena MLAs) than needed (to form a separate group in the Assembly without inviting the anti-defection law provisions),” he told a Marathi TV channel. The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
A chartered flight carrying Shinde and Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party and were camping in a luxury hotel in Surat after raising a banner of revolt on Monday night, reached Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam in the early hours of Wednesday.
Another chartered plane with four Maharashtra MLAs arrives in Guwahati: ANOTHER chartered plane with four MLAs from Maharashtra arrived here on Wednesday to join the rebel Shiv Sena legislators who reached the city earlier in the day, sources said. The four MLAs -- Chandrakant Patil, Yogesh Kadam, Manjula Gavit and Gulabrao Patil -- arrived in the evening from Surat in Gujarat like the legislators who came here along with Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde in the morning. Four more Maharashtra MLAs arrived in Guwahati in a chartered flight, the sources said. They were taken to a city hotel where the other MLAs are camping.
While Gavit and Chandrakant Patil are Independent MLAs, Kadam and Gulabrao Patil are Shiv Sena legislators.
The four MLAs arrived in Surat on Wednesday and subsequently, flew to Guwahati, the sources said.
Gulabrao Patil is the water supply and sanitation minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government. He is the second cabinet minister to have joined Shinde after Horticulture Minister Sandipal Bhumre. A group of rebel Maharashtra MLAs, led by Shinde, was flown to Guwahati on Wednesday morning.
They were taken to Surat from Mumbai on Tuesday and in the early hours of Wednesday, they were shifted to Guwahati.
One of the MLAs -- Nitin Deshmukh -- who had arrived in the morning, left Guwahati a few hours later for Nagpur in a chartered flight. Deshmukh later said he was with Shiv Sena chief Thackeray.
Pawar meets CM Thackeray: AMID the political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, NCP president Sharad Pawar called on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday evening.
Pawar was accompanied by his daughter and NCP MP Supriya Sule and party minister Jitendra Awhad.
Thackeray tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.
The NCP leaders held discusions with the chief minister at ‘Varsha’, his official residence in south Mumbai. However, what transpired at the meeting could not be known.
The meeting took place after Thackeray’s live webcast, in which he offered to quit as Maharashtra chief minister and extended an olive branch to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Kamal Nath also spoke to Thackeray over phone.
The rebellion by Shinde, who has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, has pushed the two-and-a-half-year old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) governemnt to the brink. The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, Shinde and other rebel MLAs were flown to Guwahati in Assam from Surat, where they were camping since early Tuesday.