'BJP misuses power... truth will win': Maha Cong chief's warning as crisis brews

Updated on Jun 21, 2022 11:58 AM IST

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has called for a meeting of senior leaders amid reports Shiv Sena leader and minister Eknath Shinde is 'out of touch' in BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Nana Patole (HT file photo)(HT_PRINT)
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Nana Patole (HT file photo)(HT_PRINT)

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole has slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 'misuse of power' as the Shiv Sena-Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government battles a potential crisis - Sena leader and minister Eknath Shinde has fled to Gujarat with, sources say, around 20 MLAs.

"BJP misuses its power... they are taking Indian democracy towards untruthfulness. I am sure the truth will win. I have called a meeting of all Maharashtra Congress leaders today," Patole was quoted by news agency ANI on Tuesday, a day after the BJP claimed cross-voting from Sena and Congress MLAs helped it win an unexpected five of 10 seats in the recent MLC elections.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has called for a meeting of senior leaders amid reports Eknath Shinde is in BJP-ruled Gujarat and is 'out of touch'.

READ: Thackeray calls urgent meet after Sena ‘loses touch’ with top minister

The party lost contact with Shinde - an influential leader from Thane - soon after the MLC polls - in which the Sena got at least 12 fewer votes than expected. The Sena's two candidates got 52 votes but the party expected 64 - 55 of its own plus nine independent MLAs and those from smaller parties.

Shinde is expected to address a press conference from Surat at noon.

Meanwhile, Sena Rajya Sabha MP and trouble-shooter Sanjay Raut said that while some party leaders were 'currently not reachable', he had faith. He also accused the BJP of trying to topple the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

"Some MLAs of Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde are currently not reachable. Efforts are being made to topple the government but BJP has to remember Maharashtra is very different from Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh. I know Eknath Shindeji, he is a true Shiv Sainik. He will return."

Raut also claimed the party is in touch with some MLAs but 'have heard they are not being allowed to leave... they will certainly return'.

"I trust everything will be fine," he told reporters.

READ: 20 Sena MLAs likely at Surat hotel. 'Ploy to topple govt', says Raut

The Shiv Sena is a former long-time ally of the BJP but the two fell out after the last Maharashtra assembly election over power-sharing agreements following their emphatic win.

The Sena then formed a surprise alliance with the Congress and NCP - two parties with very different ideologies to theirs - to form the Maharashtra government. The Sena (and its new allies) have since frequently accused the BJP of trying to destabilise its government.

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