As veteran leader Eknath Shinde’s rebellion puts the MVA government on shaky ground, top sources within the Maharashtra government indicate that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is confident of being able to contain the storm in his party.
Revealing the details of the meeting among top MVA leaders at Varsha, the sources told CNN-News18 that Thackeray is sure of the number game and believes he has adequate MLAs to tide over the crisis. Though the chief minister knows Shinde may not return, he is equally confident that many others will be brought back. Sources added that Thackeray’s message to the allies was clear: “Take care of your own MLAs, I will handle my party.”
So far, the Shiv Sena has got 25 MLAs into its camp, with some more expected to join by Wednesday morning. Two more unwell MLAs have also expressed their support to the party, taking the total to 27. While 18 of them have been kept at St Regis in Lower Parel, others are at different locations across Mumbai.
Another promising turn seems to be the police complaint filed by an incommunicado Sena MLA’s wife, who has alleged threat to her husband’s life.
Amid the hectic parleys, speculations are rife about why the Sena MLAs being led by Shinde are being moved to Guwahati. Sources within the MVA claim that the MLAs are keen to return and some of them allegedly entered into a scuffle with the security forces, which is why they are now being moved further away.
In one of the biggest upsets in recent times, Sena’s Shinde left for Surat with 11 MLAs on Tuesday, a day after the MLC polls gave a fillip to the BJP, and effected a crisis for the Uddhav Thackeray government. What followed was assurances by the Sena of the government being stable, allies such as Sharad Pawar dismissing the alleged threat and Shinde claiming the support of a growing number of dissidents.
The veteran leader is said to have upset the applecart as he is hurt and upset with both Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut, and displeased with the importance given to Aaditya Thackeray.
Sources also claim that Shinde was not being given independence to run his department, Urban Development, and PWD, and the Chief Minister’s Office was constantly monitoring the developments in his ministry with all important decisions needing the CMO’s nod first. Some also allege that Aaditya Thackeray was interfering in the work of Shinde’s departments. The senior leader had served in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet and shared a good rapport with the former chief minister, which seems to have worked in the BJP’s favour.