Maharashtra crisis: Attend meeting or face action, Sena tells rebel MLAs
The Shiv Sena, in a letter issued by party chief whip Sunil Prabu, has told the MLAs that whoever remains absent at the meeting called by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence will be considered to have decided to quit the party voluntarily
Amidst the ongoing political crisis in the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the party on Wednesday gave an ultimatum to its MLAs asking them to attend an urgent meeting convened by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at his residence, Varsha, at 5pm today, saying that whoever remains absent at the meeting will be considered to have decided to quit the party voluntarily and the party will take action against them, according to a letter issued by Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu.
The Maharashtra government plunged into crisis on Tuesday after simmering discontent within the Shiv Sena boiled over as urban development minister Eknath Shinde along with the rebel MLAs moved out of the state in a precursor to a possible split in the party and a threat to the survival of the ruling coalition.
The meeting called by the chief minister is aimed at keeping control of the organisation and preparing the ground to take action against the rebel MLAs, said people familiar with the matter. They are apprehensive that the rebellion by Shinde, who has around 40 MLAs with him, will cause Thackeray to lose his hold over the organisation.
“Kindly take note that if you fail to attend the meeting, it would be construed that you are willingly giving up the membership of the party, and resulting action would be taken as per the provisions of the Constitution of India,” said the letter signed by Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu.
Shiv Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the party will fight back. “We will continue to fight it out, what’s the worst that can happen, we might lose power in Maharashtra. We can get back in power but the party’s reputation is the most important thing,” Raut said earlier in the day.
Amid the crisis, a cabinet meeting of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was held earlier in the day though one of the ministers and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, who attended the meeting, maintained that no discussion was held regarding the ongoing political crisis in the state during the cabinet meeting. Chief minister Thackeray attended the meeting virtually after testing positive for Covid-19.