Several Shiv Sena MLAs who are upset with the style of functioning of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have started a rebellion, which has plunged the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis. This is the worst political crisis the Shiv Sena government is facing since it came to power in 2019.
The dissidents are being led by party leader Eknath Shinde. They said Wednesday that they do not have complaints against the Sena leadership.
Political Crisis Erupted On June 20
The political turmoil in Maharashtra erupted on Monday, June 20. Since then, Shinde and the other rebel leaders went incommunicado and travelled to Surat in Gujarat, media reports said.
Shinde on Wednesday claimed the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven independent MLAs, news agency ANI reported. He said that the rest are Shiv Sena MLAs and that the number will eventually rise. He stated that as of now, the dissidents are neither holding any talks with the BJP nor have received any proposal from them.
The MVA government includes 55 members from the Shiv Sena, 53 from the NCP, and 44 from the Congress.
Uddhav Thackeray Tests Positive For Covid-19
On Wednesday, June 22, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tested positive for Covid-19. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has also tested positive for Covid-19 and has been hospitalised.
Sanjay Raut Says Talks With Shinde Are “Positive”
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday that there is a possibility that the Legislative Assembly may be dissolved amid the political crisis.
Raut said he has been holding discussions with Shinde and that the talks are “positive”.
Raut told reporters in Mumbai that Shinde has not put forth any conditions before the party, and that discussions are being held with other Sena leaders who support Shinde. Raut also said that Thackeray will speak to NCP Chief Sharad Pawar.
Dissidents Do Not Have Complaints Against Sena Leadership: Sandipan Bhumare
Sandipan Bhumare, a Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, said Wednesday that the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde do not have complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress. These are the other two ruling alliance partners in Maharashtra. Bhumare is among the dissidents led by Shiv Sena leader Shinde.
According to a report by news agency PTI, Bhumare told a TV channel over the phone that the dissidents do not have any complaints against the Shiv Sena leadership, and that they have raised their complaints with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, that it was getting difficult to work with the NCP and Congress ministers. “It was very difficult for us to get our proposals and work requests approved from their ministers,” he further said.
The rebellion of the Shiv Sena MLAs against the party has plunged the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis. The MLAs arrived in Guwahati, Assam, by a chartered flight on Wednesday, the report said.
Responding to a question, Bhumare had said that he was given a cabinet portfolio and was satisfied with it.
“What else do I need in life. But, as a people’s representative, I need to address the grievances of my people. I could not do it properly because of these two alliance partners,” Bhumare was quoted as saying in the report.
Sanjay Shirsath, another dissident Shiv Sena MLA, told a TV channel that 35 party legislators were in Guwahati. He claimed that a couple of more MLAs will join them by today evening, and that they also have the support of three independent MLAs.
Targeting state NCP and Congress ministers, Shirsath claimed their “hostile behaviour” forced the Sena legislators to revolt.
BJP Exploring Possibility Of Govt Formation In State: Senior Leader
On Tuesday evening, a senior BJP leader from Maharashtra said the BJP was exploring the possibility of government formation in the state amid the political crisis. The leader spoke to PTI on the condition of anonymity. He had served as a minister in the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government, and said “our priority is for the smooth transition of power”.
According to media reports, BJP sources said several leaders from the party, including Devendra Fadnavis, held marathon meetings on Tuesday to discuss Constitutional provisions.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Tuesday that the party would consider a proposal to form a government if it comes from Shinde. The BJP has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the effective strength of which now stands at 285.
On Tuesday, hundreds of Shiv Sena workers gathered outside the party headquarters in Mumbai to express solidarity with party President Uddhav Thackeray. Since an increasing number of Shiv Sena supporters were gathering outside the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar area, additional personnel were deployed.
Describing the political crisis in Maharashtra as an internal matter of the…