Facing rebellion from its senior member and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde, the ruling Shiv Sena on Wednesday hinted at dissolving the assembly while the epicenter of the high-voltage political drama shifted from Surat to Assam’s Guwahati, where the rebels support their The protesting leaders and party MLAs left in the early hours. With Shinde, who has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, showing no signs of backing down from his rebellion, which has pushed the two-and-a-half-year-old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Party MP Sanjay Raut said that the ongoing political developments in Maharashtra may lead to the dissolution of the state assembly.
Raut, a close aide of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, tweeted, “Political developments in Maharashtra are moving towards the dissolution of the state assembly.” Later, when asked to elaborate on the tweet, Raut, who is the chief spokesperson of Shiv Sena, said, “When such a situation arises in a state, I have seen the assembly dissolve.”
He avoided a question whether Chief Minister Thackeray would resign. Shinde, who has appointed the Shiv Sena legislature as its chief whip, said he has 46 MLAs supporting him. He told a Marathi TV channel that I have (of Shiv Sena MLAs) in excess (to form a separate group without invoking provisions of anti-defection law in the assembly).
Shiv Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. A chartered flight carrying Shinde and Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party and were camping in a luxury hotel in Surat after raising the flag of rebellion on Monday night, reached Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam early on Wednesday.
Struggling to deal with the deepening crisis, the Shiv Sena asked all its MLAs, including the rebels who accompanied Shinde, to attend a legislature party meeting in Mumbai at 5 pm or face action under the anti-defection law. Shinde, who was camping in Guwahati with a section of Shiv Sena loyalists, hit back saying the orders issued by Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu were “legally invalid” as MLA Bharat Gogawale was being appointed the party’s chief whip. Is.
Prabhu has written a letter and issued it to some Shiv Sena ministers including Minister of State for Home Shambhuraj Desai, who is currently living with Shinde in Guwahati. official residence) because there have been attempts to destabilize the MVA government. The details about the meeting have been shared with all the members (MLAs) through their registered e-mail addresses, WhatsApp and SMS.
“You cannot abstain from the meeting without giving a valid and sufficient reason. If you do not attend the meeting, it will be presumed that you have a clear intention to leave the party. Therefore, action will be taken against you on the basis of Shinde tweeted, “Shiv Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale has been appointed Chief Whip of Shivsena Legislature Party. The orders issued by Sunil Prabhu regarding the MLAs’ meeting are legally invalid.”
A day earlier, the Shiv Sena had removed Shinde from the post of leader of its group in the assembly. Shinde (58), a four-time MLA and cabinet minister, left Mumbai with a large number of MLAs on Monday night and went to Surat in Gujarat, from where he was taken to Guwahati. Sources said that in a shot in the arm for Shinde, two more MLAs reached Surat on Wednesday afternoon from where they would be taken to Guwahati in Assam, where other party rebels are currently camping.
Hours after Shinde and the group of rebel MLAs were shifted to Assam, Manjula Gavit, an independent legislator representing the Sakri assembly constituency, and Yogesh Kadam, a Shiv Sena MLA from Dapoli assembly constituency, arrived in Surat. Sources claimed that a third Shiv Sena MLA will join the group of rebel MLAs led by Shinde and reach Gujarat city later in the day.
Still hoping for some understanding with Shinde to end the political crisis, Shiv Sena MP Raut said he is in discussions with the rebel leader and the talks are “positive”. Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Raut said that Shinde has not put any condition before the party and talks are going on with Shinde along with other Shiv Sena leaders.
Raut expressed confidence that Shinde and other rebel MLAs would return to the party, adding that their misconceptions would be cleared. Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh, who accompanied Shinde to Surat, claimed that some people had forcibly admitted him to a hospital in Gujarat city and given him injections, though he never suffered a heart attack.
Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport, the Akola MLA said that he somehow managed to return to Maharashtra safely from Surat and promised loyalty to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole said Chief Minister Thackeray has made it clear that there is no proposal to recommend the dissolution of the state assembly.
Patole’s remarks came in the backdrop of reports that the ongoing political developments in the state could lead to the dissolution of the Assembly. “We will run the government effectively,” Patole quoted Thackeray as saying.
Patole said senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who is in Mumbai in the wake of the political crisis in the Maharashtra government, spoke to Chief Minister Thackeray over phone as the latter was tested positive for COVID-19. Patole told reporters that Thackeray has insisted that the ruling MVA, which includes Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, will go through the current crisis.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat said that 41 MLAs (out of the total 44 in the state) attended the CLP meeting in Mumbai. He said three others were on their way to the state capital.
“The Congress is united and all 44 MLAs are together,” Thorat said.
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