The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra is on the verge of collapse as Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde has the support of 37 MLAs, who are currently camping with him in Guwahati. With the magic figure of 37, Shinde is at ease to dodge the anti-defection law and stake claim to form the government with the support of the BJP.
Apart from these 37 MLAs, Shinde also has the support of nine independent MLAs, who are staying in the same Guwahati hotel. talking to News18 Shinde on Thursday said the rebel camp has the numbers and there was no question of going back on their decision.
The rebel leader was also confident that more people would join his camp. “You see people are coming and we will all sit together and decide what to do. Everyone’s opinion will be taken and then we will move forward. It is not mine but everyone’s decision.” Sources also said that Shinde is preparing the paperwork to stake claim on the Shiv Sena party’s symbol.
Sources said that on Thursday, six MLAs and one MLC flew to Surat and were later taken to Guwahati in Assam by two chartered flights. Apart from the six MLAs, Shiv Sena MLC Ravindra Phatak also reached Guwahati from Surat. Phatak was one of the messengers sent by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday to discuss with Shinde and other rebel MLAs in Surat to resolve the crisis.
Phatak along with Shiv Sena MLAs Dadaji Bhuse and Sanjay Rathod reached Guwahati on a chartered flight from Surat on Thursday night. Straw is the Minister of Agriculture in the MVA government.
Sources said that in the morning four other MLAs Mangesh Kudalkar, Sada Sarvankar, Ashish Jaiswal and Deepak Keskar reached Assam in another chartered flight in which they boarded from Surat airport. On Wednesday, four Maharashtra MLAs, including two independents, had reached Surat and were later taken to Assam on a chartered flight.
Petition filed for cancellation of membership of Shiv Sena rebels
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has filed a petition with the Deputy Assembly Speaker of Maharashtra seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs. Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant while talking to CNN-News18 said, “The MLAs were given notice to attend the June 22 (legislative party) meeting, but they did not turn up. Disciplinary action will be taken against them.”
Sawant said the party has asked the deputy assembly speaker to take action against the 12 rebel MLAs. “We have asked the deputy speaker to cancel his membership. Will give notice to others too,” he said.
support of allies
Earlier on Thursday, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that he is ready to leave the Maha Vikas Aghadi government if the rebel MLAs return to Mumbai. Shiv Sena ally NCP president Sharad Pawar today reiterated that Uddhav will get the full support of his party and his government will continue. Congress, the third MVA constituent, also promised support to the Shiv Sena.
CM Thackeray, in a rousing speech on Wednesday, offered to step down as CM amid the rebellion and later even vacated his official residence, Varsha in south Mumbai, and moved to Matoshree, his family home in suburban Bandra.
On paper, Shiv Sena, which leads the MVA 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 task for the Uddhav camp. To prove his majority on the floor of the House.
(with PTI inputs)