Mumbai (Maharashtra): High voltage political drama intensified in Maharashtra as rebel Shiv Sena leader and state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs.
“Right now we have 46 MLAs with us, including 6-7 Independent MLAs. This number will rise in the time to come. As of now we have neither received any proposal from BJP nor are we holding any talks with them,” Shinde said over the phone.
Shinde said that the rebel MLAs are not in talks with the Shiv Sena or CM Uddhav Thackeray.
“As far as the current political situation is concerned, I would say that we are Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sainiks and will continue to be Shiv Sainiks. As of now, we are not holding any talks with Shiv Sena or the Chief Minister. We have not decided on the future course of action,” added Shinde.
Forty MLAs led by Shinde arrived at a luxury hotel in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam this morning.
The revolt in the Shiv Sena has given rise to speculations that Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The MLAs are now staying at Radisson Blu Hotel in the city. “A total of 40 MLAs are present here. We will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva,” said Shinde after arriving in Guwahati.
40 Maharashtra MLAs including 33 Shiv Sena and seven independent MLAs have lent their support to Shinde by signing a letter, said sources.
These MLAs were received by BJP MLA Sushanta Borgohain and BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das at Guwahati airport.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena issued a letter to party MLAs asking them to be present at a meeting to be held this evening.
The meeting is scheduled at 5 pm in the evening.
Shiv Sena’s Chief Whip, Sunil Prabhu issued a letter to all party MLAs, asking them to be present in an important meeting that will be held today evening.
The letter stated that if anyone remains absent, it will be considered that the said MLA has decided to quit the party voluntarily.
The letter also warned that if any MLA remains absent from the meeting without proper reason and prior information, they should keep in mind that action will be initiated to cancel their membership as per constitutional provisions.
Amidst the crisis in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray chaired a cabinet meeting today.
Uddhav Thackeray who tested positive for COVID joined the meeting via video conferencing.
State cabinet minister Aslam Shaikh said only the cabinet agenda was discussed in the meeting and not the current political scenario.
“Only cabinet agenda was discussed. No discussion on the present political situation took place at the cabinet meeting. Subhash Desai and Shankar Rao Gadakh were physically present. Chief Minister Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray, Anil Parab and several others joined the meeting in virtual mode,” said Aslam Shaikh.
Asked about th speculations over Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation as the CM, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said no decision will be made until the MLAs are back in Mumbai.
“I am going to Varsha Bungalow. I will meet Chief Minister but whatever has to be done will be decided by Maha Vikas Aghadi together. Unless the MLAs are back in Mumbai, no decision will be made,” Raut told reporters.
Earlier today, a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was held in Mumbai. The meeting was held at the residence of Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Balasaheb Thorat. All India Congress Committees (AICC) observer Kamal Nath was also present at the meeting.
Following the meeting, Kamal Nath said, “41 out of 44 MLAs attended the meeting here while 3 are on the way. The politics BJP has started is of money and muscle power. It is against the constitution. I have seen this a lot. Unity will prevail in Shiv Sena under Udhhav Thackeray. I have talked to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and he said that as of now there is no proposal to dissolve the Maharashtra Assembly.”
He also informed that Chief Minister Udhhav Thackeray tested COVID positive.
Pertinent to mention, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has tested positive for COVID-19. He has been admitted to HN Reliance Foundation hospital, Mumbai on Wednesday for treatment purposes.