NEW DELHI: The scales seem to be tilting towards the
faction in controlling the Shiv Sena, with nearly 40 of the party’s 55 MLA said to be rallying behind the rebel leader.
Chief minister and Sena party chief Uddhav Thackeray has vacated the official CM residence and moved back to his family home.
Shiv Sena on Friday called a meeting of the party leaders including district presidents and chief district coordinators as a confidence-building measure.
The meeting will be chaired by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai at 12 noon.
These are the latest developments in the Maharashtra political saga:
More Sena MLAs likely to reach Guwahati in support of Shinde
Eknath Shinde is appearing to be tightening his grip on the Shiv Sena, as the number of MLAs supporting him is expected to cross 50. More legislators are likely to reach Guwahati on Friday, thus further deepening the political crisis in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has filed a petition before the deputy speaker of the state assembly seeking the cancellation of membership of 12 rebel MLAs including Eknath Shinde for “not attending” the legislative party meeting held on Wednesday.
Apart from Shinde, Shiv Sena has sought disqualification of Prakash Surve, Tanaji Sawant, Mahesh Shinde, Abdul Sattar, Sandeep Bhumare, Bharat Gogawale, Sanjay Shirsat, Yamini Yadhav, Anil Babar, Balaji Devdas and Lata Chaudhari.
37 Sena MLAs declare Shinde as leader, write to Dy Speaker
All 37 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who are camping in Guwahati, on Thursday sent a letter to Maharashtra deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal, stating that Eknath Shinde will remain their group leader in legislature.
The letter also said that Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale has been appointed as the party’s chief whip of the legislature party.
Earlier in the day, Zirwal had said that he had approved the appointment of Ajay Chaudhary as the group leader of the Shiv Sena legislature party, replacing Shinde.
A few days back, the Sena had removed Shinde as legislature party leader after he “rebelled.”
Maharashtra political crisis live updates
BJP behind political instability, says Congress’ Prithviraj Chavan
“BJP is behind the political instability that we are witnessing in Maharashtra. It is true that there is some crack in big ally Shiv Sena and some MLAs have parted ways. But the BJP is behind such a situation. Devendra Fadnavis is taking instructions from Delhi and seeking logistical support accordingly. He is trying his best to keep the government unstable,” the Congress leader alleged.
“We had anticipated that the BJP would try something like this before the BMC elections which is very crucial for it and wants to win desperately. So it is adhering to all tactics including the misuse of the central agencies,” he said.
A Union minister however dismissed allegations of BJP trying to destablise the government in Maharshtra.
“No Central minister is giving threats. BJP is not trying to destabilise the government. This is an internal matter of the Shiv Sena. BJP is only in wait and watch position,” sais MoS Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve.
Such battles fought either through law or on the road: Sena’s Sanjay Raut
Claiming of being in touch with 20 MLAs from the Eknath Shinde camp in Guwahati, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said that everyone will see when the floor test happens, adding that those who leave party under pressure from ED are not real followers of Balasaheb Thackeray.
“About 20 MLAs are in touch with us…when they come to Mumbai, you will get to know…will soon be revealed, in what circumstances, pressure these MLAs left us,” said Raut.
“Process is underway to disqualify 12 MLAs (of Eknath Shinde faction), their numbers are only on the papers. Shiv Sena is a big ocean such waves come and go,” Raut further said.
He further slammed Eknath Shinde for leaving the party under Enforcement Directorate (ED) pressure and said that they continue to stand with Uddhav Thackeray.
“Eknath Shinde faction that’s challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads,” Raut said.
Cong, NCP trying to eliminate Shiv Sena: Rebel MLA Shirsat
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat claimed that both Congress and NCP are trying to eliminate Shiv Sena politically from Maharashtra and the MLAs made several attempts to inform chief minister Uddhav Thackeray about the “malafide intentions” of alliance partners.
In a video message, Shirsat said Sanjay Shirsath said, “Yesterday, we all watched the video conference address by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. We listened to his opinions and thoughts. We felt bad. We had never imagined that Uddhav Saheb will become so emotional in such a situation. But, there are reasons behind what has happened. This has not happened overnight. This is not a miracle that happened within a day. Many times in the past, all these MLAs informed Uddhav Saheb that whether it is Congress or NCP, both are trying to eliminate Shiv Sena.”
He also added that MLAs have also tried to inform the Chief Minister that people are trying to destroy Shiv Sena.