Political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde reached Gujarat with MLAs Pi News

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Minister Eknath Shinde, who was staying with some MLAs in a hotel in Surat, Gujarat, has been removed by the Shiv Sena as the leader of the legislature party. At the same time, Shinde has issued a statement saying that he will never cheat for power and will not leave the lessons learned from Bal Thackeray. Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, an ally in the MVA government in Maharashtra, has termed it as an attempt by the BJP to topple the government.

Eknath Shinde. (Photo Credits: Facebook)

His move has put the stability of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (AVA) government in the state under question amid fears of ‘cross-voting’ in the Legislative Council elections that concluded a day ago.

Shinde, however, has not clarified his stand at the moment. Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil has denied his party any connection with the latest political developments in Maharashtra. However, he has said that if Shinde comes with a proposal to form the government, then the BJP will definitely consider it.

At the same time, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi said that an attempt is being made to topple the government in Maharashtra for the third time. He said that it is an internal matter of Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray will handle the situation.

The security of the hotel was tightened since morning on Tuesday and around 400 policemen have been deployed. With this the hotel has been converted into a cantonment.

Guests already staying in the hotel are leaving one by one. At the same time, sources said that the hotel located on Dumas Road in the city has closed new bookings indefinitely.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra Sanjay Kute reached the hotel in his car in the afternoon and was allowed inside to meet Shiv Sena leaders staying there.

300 to 400 policemen took a stand inside and outside the hotel premises after prominent Shiv Sena leader Shinde and other MLAs arrived here on Monday night. They put up barricades at both the entry and exit points to prevent any unauthorized person from entering inside the hotel.

Policemen have also been deployed inside the hotel on the floor where the MLAs are staying. Senior police officers are visiting here since morning. He was seen giving necessary instructions to the deployed policemen. No outsider or visitor is allowed to enter the hotel premises and employees are allowed inside only after checking their Identity Card (ID) and permission from the concerned authorities. Cameramen and a large group of journalists are camping outside the hotel.

Amidst this dramatic development, Eknath Shinde’s statement has also come and he has said that he will never cheat for power and will not leave the lessons learned from Bal Thackeray.

Shinde tweeted in Marathi, ‘We are staunch Shiv Sainiks of Balasaheb, who taught us the lesson of Hindutva. We will never cheat for power and will never give up the lessons learned from Balasaheb and Anand Dighe for power.

This was his first reaction in the midst of a political crisis in Maharashtra because of Shinde. The late Dighe was a veteran Shiv Sena leader from Thane and Shinde’s political mentor.

At the same time, in response, Eknath Shinde has been removed from the post of Legislature Party leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly by Shiv Sena.

Raut told reporters that in place of Shinde, Ajay Chaudhary has been made the leader of the Sena’s legislature party in the assembly.

“Shinde has been removed from the post of leader of Shiv Sena’s legislature party in Maharashtra Assembly,” Raut said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leaders Milind Narvekar and Ravi Pathak have reached Le Meridien Hotel in Surat.

In the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, BJP has 106, Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi three and Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party have two MLAs each.

At the same time, MNS, CPI(M), PWP, Swabhimani Paksha, Rashtriya Samaj Party, Jan Swaraj Shakti Party and Krantikari Shetkari Paksha have one MLA each in the state assembly. The number of independent MLAs in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly is 13.

Leaders of other constituents of the MVA, NCP and Congress, however, claimed that the stability of the state government was not under threat.

At the same time, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that Shinde has been contacted. He described Shinde as a ‘Shiv Sainik loyal to Balasaheb Thackeray’.

After the sudden disappearance of Shinde and some other Shiv Sena MLAs, Uddhav had to call an emergency meeting of party leaders and MLAs at his official residence ‘Varsha’ in Mumbai.

The number of MLAs who camped with Shinde is not yet clear, but Shiv Sena has lost contact with many of its MLAs.

Senior NCP leader and minister in the state government Chhagan Bhujbal said his party’s MLAs were stable.

Bhujbal and Maharashtra Congress leader Nana Patole dismissed the apprehensions of any threat to the MVA government.

At the same time, Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat said that his party is closely monitoring the developments in Shiv Sena and he has spoken to the Chief Minister and if needed, a meeting of MVA will also be held.

Thorat said that all Congress MLAs have been asked to stay in Mumbai for the time being.

The development comes hours after the MVA suffered a setback in the Legislative Council elections, the results of which were declared on Monday night.

In the election, the BJP won all the five seats it had tried its luck on, even though it had the votes needed to win only four candidates. Two seats each went to the account of Shiv Sena and NCP. At the same time, one of the two Congress candidates had to face defeat.

A Shiv Sena leader said that Shinde was present in the Vidhan Bhavan along with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray till around 5 pm on Monday.

The Shiv Sena MLAs, who were reportedly unhappy with the party leadership, reached Surat on Monday night and are staying at Le Meridien Hotel, he said.

“Some MLAs of Shiv Sena, including Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde, are in a hotel in Surat,” a source said. He told that a large number of police forces have been deployed outside the hotel.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut admitted that Shinde is not in Mumbai, but contact has been established with him.

A Congress minister said Shinde has been restless for the past one week and claimed that he wants the post of deputy chief minister.

Shinde, a senior minister in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government, wields considerable influence in the suburbs of Mumbai. Meanwhile, police have stepped up security outside his private residence in Thane.

Police was deployed at the residence of Eknath Shinde in Thane on Tuesday, June 21. (Photo: PTI)

On the other hand, Raut blamed the BJP for the current political situation in the state. He also said that the BJP’s efforts to topple the MVA government in Maharashtra, like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, will not succeed.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said, “BJP has nothing to do with Shinde’s developments. However, if the BJP gets any proposal from Shinde to form the government, we will surely consider it seriously. After all, we have worked together in the past, so it will be much easier to work with him and run the government.

Patil also claimed that Raut was solely responsible for the tumultuous relationship between the Shiv Sena and the BJP.

The BJP leader alleged, “He (Raut) is causing a lot of damage to the state too… and he is doing it on behalf of someone else.”

Let us tell you that after the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections over the issue of sharing the chief minister’s post, Shiv Sena broke the alliance with its long-time ally BJP. Shiv Sena then formed the government in the state with the support of NCP and Congress.

In the midst of this whole episode, Narayan Rane, a Union minister from Maharashtra and a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP, supported Shinde.

He tweeted, ‘Very good Eknath ji. You have taken the right decision at the right time. Otherwise, soon you too could have had the same fate as Anand Dighe.

(with input from news agency language)

Categories: India, Politics

Tagged as: BJP, Congress, Eknath Shinde, Maha Vikas Aghadi Govt, Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), News, politics, Sanjay Raut, sharad pawar, Shivsena, The Wire