As Maharashtra’s political battle continues for the past 48 hours and counting, visuals of a smiling Eknath Shinde – the man whose rebellion has thrown the MVA government into existential crisis – with a group of his loyalists Camped in Guwahati 5-star hotel.
In the videos and pictures that have surfaced, Shinde is seen sitting with some MLAs, who are sharing some light moments among themselves. Shinde can also be seen turning over a few sheets of paper and signing them. It was not immediately known what those documents were.
The videos first surfaced after Monday night when Shinde along with 26 Shiv Sena MLAs flew to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat.
Shinde is camping at a Guwahati hotel with over 40 Shiv Sena MLAs, who have promised to support him. On Wednesday, 34 MLAs wrote a letter to the Governor of Maharashtra supporting Shinde. A day after Uddhav Thackeray sacked him following the rebellion, leaders said Eknath Shinde would continue to be the leader of the Sena’s legislature party.
Meanwhile, Shinde tweeted in Marathi that “coming out of the unnatural front is necessary for the survival of the party and Shiv Sainiks”, adding that the decisions were taken in the interest of Maharashtra.
To save the MVA boat from sinking, coalition leaders NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met in the evening to discuss the possibility of giving Shinde the CM post. In his address on Wednesday evening, Uddhav said in a live webcast that he is ready to step down if the rebel leader and the MLAs supporting him declare that they do not want him to continue as CM.
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance has 152 MLAs – Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53 and Congress 44 – as its main strength. The alliance also claims the support of some smaller parties and independent candidates.
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