Mumbai: In the midst of intensifying political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday hinted at the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. ‘The ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra is heading to the dissolution of Vidhan Sabha’, Raut said in a Twitter post.
On the contrary, Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal ruled out midterm polls in the state. ‘Midterm elections? There have been no talks yet. What can I say?’,Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal said.
Shiv Sena women workers in Aurangabad break down and weep as they protest against rebel leader Eknath Shinde who has led to ongoing instability in the MVA govt in the state. Back-to-back meetings of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP are taking place in Mumbai over the rapidly changing political developments in the state.
This came after 40 Maharashtra MLAs including 33 Shiv Sena and seven independent MLAs exhorted their support to rebel Shiv Sena leader and state Cabinet Minister Eknath Shinde by signing a letter, said sources. They added that the rebel legislators may write to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari seeking for floor test in the state Legislative Assembly. The 40 MLAs led by Shinde arrived at a luxury hotel in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam on Wednesday. The revolt in the Shiv Sena has given rise to speculations that Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The MLAs are now staying at Radisson Blu Hotel in the city. ‘A total of 40 MLAs are present here. We will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva’, said Shinde after arriving in Guwahati. The Shiv Sena MLAs were received by BJP MLA Sushanta Borgohain and BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das at Guwahati airport.
Earlier today, Raut told reporters, ‘Talks are underway with MLAs who are with Eknath Shinde, everybody will stay in Shiv Sena. Our party is a fighter, we will struggle consistently, atmost we might lose power but we will continue to fight’. ‘Eknath Shinde is our very old party member, he is our friend. We have worked together for decades. It is neither easy for him nor for us to leave each other. I had a conversation with him for an hour this morning and the party chief was intimated about it’, Raut said.
In the wake of recent political developments in Maharashtra, Congress deputed its senior leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath as All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer in the state. ‘The Congress president has deputed Kamal Nath AICC observer in the wake of recent political developments in the state, with immediate effect’, Congress said in an official statement. On the other hand, when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar was asked about the crisis in MVA, he termed the turmoil ‘an internal matter of the Sena’. Pawar also said he remains fully committed to the three-party government. He also ruled out any tie-up with the opposition BJP.
The developments came up after suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, in a major blow to the MVA alliance government. NCP and Shiv Sena won two each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday. After the MLC elections, Shinde along with some other Shiv Sena MLAs was staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat. A Shiv Sena delegation comprising Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s close aides Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak had also met Shinde and other party legislators in Surat.