Maharashtra political crisis: Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde says 40 MLAs with him in Assamtext_fields
Guwahati: A total of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs led by Maharashtra political leader Eknath Shinde, who have rebelled against the party bringing a political crisis to the MVA government, have arrived in Guwahati today morning.
They were received by BJP leaders Sushanta Borgohain and Pallab Lochan Das.
Speaking to reporters at the Guwahati airport, Eknath Shinde said he has the support of around 40 MLAs and they will carry forward Balasaheb Thackeray's legacy. "We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena and will not leave it,' he said.
Before leaving for Assam, Eknath and other party MLAs had been camping in a Surat hotel in Gujarat - another BJP-ruled state. The move to shift them to Guwahati came shortly after his telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Uddhav Thackeray had asked Eknath Shinde to reconsider and return to the party. Mr. Shinde had demanded that the Sena restore its alliance with the BJP and jointly rule the state, sources said. Reports suggest Shiv Sena MLAs were moved to Guwahati by the BJP to avoid any further confrontation with Sena leaders.
Several BJP leaders also met Eknath Shinde at the Surat hotel as speculation is rife that the rebel Shiv Sena leader along with other MLAs might join the BJP.
Shinde was sacked as the party's Chief Whip on Tuesday afternoon, he retaliated by dropping Shiv Sena from his Twitter bio.
Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut has claimed the rebellion has been engineered by the BJP to topple the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance. Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, however, denied any link to the ongoing developments but said his party would "definitely consider" a proposal if it comes from the Eknath Sinde.
The crisis in Maharashtra unfolded after suspected cross-voting in Monday's Legislative Council elections in which the BJP won five of 10 seats, although its own numbers entitled the party to four seats.
The Congress-ruled out the possibility of Shinde's move toppling the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 55 MLAs, followed by allies NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288-assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144.