Maharashtra Political Crisis Live Updates:
Maharashtra Political Crisis Live Updates: This could signal a major crisis for the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
Maharashtra minister and top Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has reportedly walked into the Meridian Hotel in BJP-ruled Gujarat’s Surat with 21 other party MLAs, raising alarm bells in the Uddhav Thackeray government.
Sources say Mr Shinde, who is reportedly upset, is “out of reach”. Sources said Shiv Sena has a total of 22 MLAs in the hotel, out of which five are ministers and one is an independent. Uddhav Thackeray has called an emergency meeting at his residence and Shiv Sena sources said that at least 35 Shiv Sena MLAs are present there.
Shiv Sena’s ally Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is in Delhi to attend the opposition meeting on the Presidential election. Sources said he would later fly to Mumbai and hold a meeting with Mr. Thackeray.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut hit out at the BJP, saying there was a conspiracy to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government “like in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan”. “Shiv Sena is a party of loyalists. We will not allow this to happen,” he said.
Sources in the opposition BJP have claimed that Shinde is accompanied by 13 MLAs of Shiv Sena, besides five independent MLAs at the Surat hotel.
This happens after the Maha Vikas Aghadi ruling alliance and the BJP won five seats each in the Legislative Council elections this year. The opposition BJP won all five seats. Congress candidate Chandrakant Handore lost in a jiffy to the ruling coalition.
“Eknath Shinde was with us at the hotel and was trying to ensure the MVA candidate’s victory. We cannot say anything till we speak to him,” Raut told the media. He said that he has spoken to Mr. Pawar.
Mr Raut further said that he has spoken to some MLAs of Surat. “Some of them want to return, but they are not being allowed,” he said, asserting that the MLAs are “loyal Shiv Sainiks”.
It is learned that Mr. Shinde may address the media in the afternoon. A prominent army leader in Thane, Shri Shinde has played a vital role in strengthening the organization in the region. His son, Dr. Shrikant Shinde, is a Shiv Sena MP from Kalyan. He was named the Leader of the Opposition in 2014 after the Shiv Sena broke away from the BJP.
Maharashtra’s top BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis reached Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Sources have said that the Shiv Sena MLAs may be taken to Ahmedabad where they may have a meeting with Mr. Shah.
Recently there have been reports that Shinde is angry with the leadership and feels isolated.
Former Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane, who is now with the BJP, had a cheeky response. “No comment should be made on such things, otherwise what is the point of being out of reach,” he said.