Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra was an “unnatural alliance” and it was imperative for his party to walk out of the coalition with the NCP and the Congress for its own sake and that of party workers.
Shinde’s reaction came hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reached out to the rebels, saying he would quit his post if even one Sena MLA comes and tells him on his face that he was incompetent.
The Sena strongman, a Cabinet minister, said the MVA, formed in November 2019, was beneficial only to alliance partners the Congress and the NCP, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s existence.
“It is necessary to quit the unnatural alliance for the sake of Shiv Sainiks and the Shiv Sena. It is important to take a decision in the interest of the state,” Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati along with rebel Sena MLAs, tweeted.
His tweets were in Marathi with #Hindutvaforever. Shinde maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.
The epicentre of the Maharashtra political drama that erupted on June 21 has now shifted to Guwahati. Sena strongman Eknath Shinde, the Urban Development Minister, headed there at midnight from Surat’s Le Meridien hotel, where he was initially camping.
Claiming to have over 40 MLAs in is fold, Shinde is sticking to his stand that while he still remains a Sena man, his party must align with the BJP and form government. The 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 a banner of revolt on June 20 night, reached Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam in the early hours of June 22.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray finally broke his silence on the happenings and said he was ready to quit his post if the rebel MLAs tell him that they don’t want him to continue as CM.