Maharashtra political crisis: Eknath Shinde says will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva; key points | India News

GUWAHATI: Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said that 40 of his party’s MLAs have arrived in Assam and that they will push Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva agenda.
Following the cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls, Shinde and other MLAs slept at a hotel in Surat, Gujarat, and flew to Guwahati earlier today.
His remarks came as speculation is rife that Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Here are the key developments from the situation-
We are upset with NCP, Cong style of functioning, have no complaints against Sena chief: Rebel MLAs
A Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, who is among the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde, said they do not have any complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress, the other two ruling alliance partners in the state.
The Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis, arrived in Assam’s Guwahati city by a chartered flight on Wednesday.
Speaking to a TV channel over phone, Maharashtra minister Sandipan Bhumare, who is among the dissidents, said, “We do not have any complaints against the Shiv Sena leadership. We have raised our complaints with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, that it was getting difficult to work with the NCP and Congress ministers. It was very difficult for us to get our proposals and work requests approved from their ministers.”
To a query, Bumare said he was given a cabinet portfolio and was satisfied with it.
“What else do I need in life. But, as a people’s representative, I need to address the grievances of my people. I could not do it properly because of these two alliance partners,” he added.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray calls cabinet meeting today
Amid a political turmoil in Maharashtra that has put up a question mark on the survival of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called a State Cabinet meeting at 1 pm today.
This comes as speculation is rife that Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Eknath Shinde, with 33 party MLAs and seven independent MLAs, who were staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat arrived at Assam’s Guwahati in morning.
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs arrive inAssam
A chartered plane carrying Shiv Sena MLAs, who had revolted against the party, arrived in Guwahati early Wednesday, causing a crisis in Maharashtra’s MVA government.
The flight from Surat, Gujarat, landed at Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport at 6.30 am, according to sources.
The actual number of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs on board is unknown at this time, although the flight had 89 passengers, including onboard personnel, according to reports.

The Maharashtra MLAs were transported to a hotel under police protection in special buses.
The Shiv Sena MLAs were received by BJP MLA Sushanta Borgohain and BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das at Guwahati airport.
“I came to receive them (Shiv Sena MLAs from Surat, Gujarat). I have not counted how many MLAs have. I came here for personal relations. They have not disclosed any program,” Borgohain said.
I have 40 MLAs with me: Shinde claims from Guwahati
Eknath Shinde, the head of the Shiv Sena’s rebellion, claimed to have 40 MLAs with him.
Shinde talked to media for the first time since his decision to defy his own party as he arrived at the Guwahati airport.

Shinde had left Mumbai late Monday night with several Sena MLAs and slept in a hotel in Surat, Gujarat.
However, after meeting with BJP leaders, he made the decision to relocate to Guwahati.
Speaking to reporters outside Guwahati airport, Shinde said, “Here 40 MLAs are with me. Additional 10 MLAs will join me soon. I do not want to criticize any one. We are keen on continuing the Sena founded by late Balasaheb Thackeray,” he said.

Balasaheb Thackeray, who founded Shiv Sena on June 19, 1966, to advocate for the interest of Marathis or the people of Maharashtra, passed away on November 17, 2012.
Maharashtra Governor Koshyari tests Covid-19 positive
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was on Wednesday admitted to a private hospital in south Mumbai after testing Coronavirus positive, an official said.
Koshyari (80), who was always seen wearing face masks at public events, has been admitted to the Reliance Foundation Hospital, the official said.
Cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council
This comes after suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, in a major blow to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena won two each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday.
After the MLC elections, Shinde along with some other Shiv Sena MLAs was staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat. A Shiv Sena delegation comprising Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s close aides Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak also met Shinde and other party legislators in Surat.
Alleging that efforts are being made to topple the MVA government, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday confirmed that some Shiv Sena MLAs and Eknath Shinde were currently “not reachable”. He said that Shiv Sena MLAs were in Surat and they were not being allowed to leave.
‘Old friend’ Eknath Shinde knows why Sena left BJP: Sanjay Raut
Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the party is trying to contact leader Eknath Shinde calling him an old friend.

He said that two representatives of the party Milind Narvekar and Ravi Pathak went to Surat and had a meeting with him and the message will be further conveyed to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
On being asked about Shinde’s demand for a Shiv Sena-BJP tie-up, Raut said he is well aware of why the alliance with the BJP was broken.
Shinde’s attack on Shiv Sena
Amid the drama, Shinde took a veiled dig at Shiv Sena for joining hands with Congress and NCP to form the government in the state and tweeted, “We are Balasaheb’s staunch Shiv Sainiks… Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb’s thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb’s teachings.”
Shinde has also dropped “Shiv Sena” from his Twitter bio. He has been instrumental in strengthening the organization in the Thane region and was made the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 2014 after the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP. Shinde was appointed as a cabinet minister in the MVA government.
However, sources said Shinde has been feeling sidelined since the formation of the MVA government. His son Shrikant Shinde represents the Kalyan Lok Sabha seat.
Maharashtra Congress MLAs meet to discuss political situation
Amid the political turmoil in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Maharashtra Congress MLAs held a meeting at Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat’s residence in Mumbai on Tuesday. The meeting was presided over by Maharashtra Congress-incharge HK Patil. In the meeting, 42 out of 44 Congress MLAs were present, along with party leaders Nana Patole, Ashok Chavan and others.
The meeting took place following the reports that some Shiv Sena MLAs along with party leader Eknath Shinde went “unreachable” and moved to Gujarat’s Surat posing a threat to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
BJP’s take
Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil claimed that “technically” the state government is in “minority” as Eknath Shinde and other Shiv Sena MLAs have gone.
He said that the BJP was presently in a “wait and watch” mode and added that there has not been any proposal regarding government formation neither from the BJP nor from Shinde.

“BJP got support from independents and small political parties for Rajya Sabha and MLC elections. As per our information, Eknath Shinde and 35 MLAs have gone. This means technically state government is in the minority but practically it will take some time for the government to be in minority,” he said.
“It’s too early to say anything, we are currently waiting and keeping an eye on the situation. So far, there has not been any proposal regarding government formation neither from the BJP nor from Eknath Shinde but anything can happen in politics at any time, ” the BJP leader added.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena used to be allies until 2019 when after contesting the Maharashtra Assembly elections together both parted ways over the issue of the chief ministerial’s post. Following days of the political impasse and high-voltage drama, the Shiv Sena finally formed the government along with the Congress and the NCP, with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government.
Five possible scenarios that may happen
1. Shinde camp needs to win over 37 Sena MLAs (2/3rds of total) to ensure rebels do not get disqualified under the anti-defection law. If the Shinde faction gets to this number and decides to back BJP or even merge with it, there could be a regime change. Speculation is he may have the support of 12-13 MLAs now, mostly from Rane, Raigad and areas outside Mumbai. Support of the 13 Sena MLAs from Mumbai is unlikely.
2. Shinde’s rebellion may force Sena leadership to split MVA- the rebels’ key demand- and form a government with BJP. Shinde is keen to see Sena revert to Hindutva, the cornerstone of the party’s electoral strategy for decades. The Shinde camp believes Sena’s prospects have significantly dimmed as a result of the “secular” alliance with Congress- NCP. The restoration formula envisages a CM from BJP and deputy CM (preferably Shinde) from Sena, along with 10-12 Sena ministers. Uddhav Thackeray will have to step down as CM.
3. Sena leadership may manage to assuage Shinde and other rebels and bring them back into the fold. If this happens, Shinde will remain a minister but will have much less clout as a grassroots leader. Sena’s leadership will cut him to size and shift control in the Thane district where he currently holds sway. Shinde may take years to regain Matoshree’s trust. Other possibility, though remote, is Shinde may have the upper hand if he returns to Sena. In a quid pro quo, Thackeray’s may cede more ground to him.
4. Sena may continue as a part of MVA after expelling Shinde for dissident activities. Sena will try to ensure that he alone pays for the rebellion and that all MLAs who supported him continue to remain with the party. In this case, Shinde may eventually join BJP to protect his turf in Thane, draw a few more Sena veterans to his side, and gear up for next assembly and general elections in 2024.
5. If Shinde and his camp refuse to back down, they could bid time until the monsoon session. Given MVA’s defeats in RS polls and MLC elections, the prevailing mood among independents and smaller parties is not favorable to the coalition. MLAs from the Shinde camp could resign, a la BJP’s Operation Lotus in Karnataka in 2019. A trust vote in this situation may tip the scales. Sena MLAs who quit could then contest byelections on BJP tickets. If they win, BJP will form the government. Alternatively, if the MVA government loses the trust vote and the government is dissolved, Center may impose President’s rule and Maharashtra could head for mid-term polls.
(With inputs from agencies)

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