A resolution approved by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party, signed by 34 MLAs, stating that rebel leader Eknath Shinde Continues to be the leader has been delivered to state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari amid the rising political situation in Maharashtra.
The resolution, which was adopted on Tuesday, said that Eknath Shinde was unanimously chosen to lead the Shiv Sena Legislative Party in 2019 and will continue to do so. It stated that Bharat Gogawale has been decided to serve as the party’s Chief Whip.
Following the political crisis, Shiv Sena had removed Eknath Shinde as the party’s leader party. However, the rebels have hit back with the resolution.
The resolution said that Shiv Sena’s ideology has been compromised in the past two years. They also expressed their dissatisfaction with “corruption in government,” referring to Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who are currently in jail.
Here are top developments in the political situation-
3 more MLAs join Eknath Shinde camp
Three more Shiv Sena MLAs have joined the rebel group of MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati today morning further deepening the political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. They reached the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, where other MLAs are campaigning.
Last night four more MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati. With this, seven more MLAs have joined the rebel group in the last 24 hours. Moreover, a resolution passed by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party carrying signatures of 34 MLAs that rebel leader Eknath Shinde continues to be the leader, has been sent to the state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Thackeray vacates CM house after offering to resign
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray left his official residence ‘Varsha’ along with his family members last night hours after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.
Shiv Sena workers and supporters showered petals and raised slogans in support of Thackeray when he left with his family from his official residence ‘Versha Bungalow’, last night amid political instability in the state.
The CM moved out of ‘Varsha’, his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshri, the private bungalow of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra, amid high drama even as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde, a Cabinet member camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.
How Kamal Nath will save Maharashtra govt?
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a jibe at Congress over its decision to depute senior party leader Kamal Nath as All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer in Maharashtra amid its political crisis.
“Congress is counting its last moments,” the chief minister said while addressing a public rally in Ujjain.
He asked the Congress leadership how Kamal Nath will save the Maharashtra government when he could not save his own government in Madhya Pradesh.
“Kamal Nath (MP Congress chief and former MP CM) has gone to Maharashtra… how will someone who couldn’t save his own govt in Madhya Pradesh, save the Maharashtra government?… Congress is counting its last moments,” Chuhan said.
The Congress on Tuesday deputed its senior leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath as an AICC observer in the state.
The decision came soon after reports that some Shiv Sena MLAs along with party leader Eknath Shinde moved to Surat posing threat to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
BJP not staking a claim to form government in Maharashtra
BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Patil Danve said that the political crisis in Maharashtra was Shiv Sena’s internal matter and the BJP is not staking a claim to form a government in the state.
Danve, who met party leader Devendra Fadnavis, told the media here that no Shiv Sena MLA is in touch with the party.
“We haven’t spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is Shiv Sena’s internal matter. BJP has nothing to do with this. We’re not staking a claim to form the government,” said Danve who is Minister of State for Railways.
Meanwhile, Eknath Shinde, with 33 party MLAs and seven independent MLAs, who were staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat at Assam’s Guwahati arrived on Wednesday morning.
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.
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.
Amid these developments, Shiv Sena leaders met Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly Narhari Zirwal and handed over him a letter requesting to remove Eknath Shinde from the Legislative party leader’s post and replace him with Ajay Chaudhary as Shiv Sena Legislative party leader.
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 the minority,” he said.
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.
(With inputs from agencies)