Amid the rebellion led by strong Shiv Sena leader and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, the party angered its allies NCP and Congress, as Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said they were ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government if the rebels Legislators return. Mumbai
Talking to reporters in the Maharashtra capital, Raut said, “You say you are a real Shiv Sainik and will not leave the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss this issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your request will be considered positively. Do not write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp.
“The rebels who have come out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of MVA, then show courage to come back to Mumbai…Your demand will be considered. But come and talk to Uddhav Thackeray.”
Although the comment did not go down well with ally NCP, sources told CNN-News18 that it will be discussed by the NCP as the MLAs are unhappy and will take up the matter with party president Sharad Pawar. NCP spokesperson Mahesh Bharat Taapsee said, “We will discuss Raut’s statement in the NCP meeting today.
Sources said the Congress is also not happy with Raut’s remarks and will hold a meeting this evening to discuss the matter.
Shinde – the man responsible for putting the MVA government in existential crisis – is currently camping in Guwahati with over 40 MLAs. Speaking to News18, Shinde said the number of the rebel camp – 40, by his estimate – and there was no question of going back on his decision.
BJP sources claimed that Uddhav is left with the support of only 15 MLAs in the 288-member assembly, and some of them may even quit soon. On paper, the Shiv Sena, which leads the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi alliance, has 55 MLAs, followed by ally NCP at 53 and Congress at 44. But with Shinde claiming the support of over 40 MLAs, it will be an uphill climb. Thackeray camp to prove majority
CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to step down from the top post amid Shinde’s rebellion and later vacated Varsha, his official residence in south Mumbai, and moved to Matoshree, his family home in suburban Bandra.
(with PTI inputs)