Maharashtra political crisis: Another rebel Shiv Sena MLA explains why he joined team Eknath Shinde | Watch
In a video uploaded by Shinde on Twitter, Erandol MLA Chimanrao Patil said, among other things, that his decision was due to party supremo and Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray, not ending its alliance with NCP and Congress.
Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde on Saturday uploaded a video of a legislator in his camp, Erandol MLA Chimanrao Patil, in which the latter explained why he joined the Shinde-led revolt against Sena Supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
“We've been fighting the Congress for the last 30 years, and the NCP, since it was established. We've traditionally fought these two parties, and will continue to do so,” Shinde quoted Patil as saying (translated roughly from Marathi).
“Our main opponent in the constituency, the NCP, will contest against us in the next assembly elections. From this standpoint, all the MLAs requested Uddhav ji to form a natural alliance. But we didn't get his approval and, therefore, asked our leader, Eknath Shinde ji, to take a clear stand,” Patil added.
The politician added that all Shiv Sainiks in Maharashtra were in favour of a ‘natural alliance.’ “Hence, this rebellion is supported by more than two-thirds of the MLAs in the party, and 10 independents,” he concluded.
Since Shinde began his rebellion against Thackeray earlier this week, he has been uploading videos of MLAs, who are on his side, justifying their decision to be with him. The rebels, who are holed up in a hotel in Guwahati in faraway Assam, want the chief minister to terminate alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress.
The Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, called the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), came into existence in November 2019, after the Thackeray-led outfit decided to part ways with its long-time ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite retaining power in the state by winning the assembly elections in October that year.
Though partners, the Sena's ideology is polar opposite to that of the NCP and Congress. On the other hand, the BJP follows the same ideology – Hindutva – the same as its now-former ally.
A total of 38 Sena legislators, including Shinde himself, are currently in Guwahati, along with the independents. The party has 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra legislative assembly, and at least two-thirds of them (37, in this case), are required by the dissenting faction to not be in violation of the anti-defection law.