Udhav-led MVA govt in trouble, reduced to minority; 35 Shiv Sena rebels camp in Surat hotel

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(Online Desk)

An unprecedented tsunami sweeps the Udhav Thackeray-led MVA government in Maharashtra.  As many as 35 of its MLAs raise a banner of revolt and moved to a hotel in Surat.  The rebel camp was led by Eknath Shinde.

This was sooner after Maharashtra MLC elections results were out. Senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde is reportedly in touch with senior BJP leaders and he is likely to break a major chunk of Sena MLAs with him to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government.

Shinde and his loyals, 25 Shiv Sena MLAs, are camped at Hotel Le Meridian in Surat in Gujarat. Later, another nine reportedly joined to ensure to avoid the anti-defection law. He was very close to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The Gujarat police have deployed heavy security around the hotel. Many claim that the number may soon to swell to 40.

And, Shinde is likely to address a press conference to clear his stand. In MLC elections, BJP secured 134 votes while Maha Vikas Aghadi got 151 votes.

After the MLC elections, Thackeray along with his few key leaders called for a meeting at Varsha bungalow on Monday late night, where he was very upset with Shinde for not keeping its flock together and for not securing the votes of smaller parties and independent MLAs in the election. Thackeray told Shinde that the party had given him free hand in the government but he still failed to manage the requisite numbers in Rajya Sabha and MLC elections.

In the Maharashtra state legislative council, both Shiv Sena candidates Sachin Ahir and Ameshya Padvi won the elections but these candidates failed to get all the votes of the Shiv Sena and smaller parties and independent MLAs. In this election, 12 Shiv Sena MLAs and supported MLAs cross-voted to BJP. While the Congress party’s three MLAs also cross-voted.

Sources said after the meeting with the Chief Minister, Shinde left directly to Surat with his supporting MLAs. “Shinde has been in touch with senior BJP leader. Gujarat BJP president CR Patil has been playing a major role to bring Shinde closer to BJP. Shinde loyalists MLAs are from Marathwada. He was not happy with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. His loyalties were not filled in the Rajya Sabha elections and MLC elections. Besides, Thackeray’s son Aditya Thackeray was getting prominence despite being junior in government and party. That widened the gap between Thackeray and Shinde,” said a source requesting anonymity.

Shinde was the person who wanted to tie up with the BJP in 2019 and form a government. Shinde also had a good relationship with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.

Nilam Gore, senior Shiv Sena leader said that Shinde is a very senior and loyal Shiv Sainik, he will not take a different step. She said the media should not spread rumours about Eknath Shinde.

And, this development is likely to make the Presidential elections more smoother and comfortable to BJP-led NDA candidate, whoever he or she may be.