Maharashtra political crisis deepens, Sena's Raut hints at assembly dissolution

Published on Jun 22, 2022 12:01 PM IST

Maharashtra political crisis: Eknath Shinde has moved to the BJP-ruled Assam after camping in Gujarat. 

File photo of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (HT Photo)
File photo of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde. (HT Photo)

As Maharashtra political crisis deepens, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has hinted at the dissolution of the state assembly in a tweet. "The developments in Maharashtra are leading towards the dismissal of Vidhan Sabha (state assembly)," the top party leader wrote in a post in Marathi. The comment comes hours after rebel Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde reached Assam after camping in a five-star hotel in Gujarat's Surat. Both the states are ruled by the BJP. Shinde, who was said to be a top lieutenant of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, has rebelled against the party, plunging the Sena-NCP-Congress government into a deep crisis . He says he support of at least 40 MLAs.

Here are top developments on the Maharashtra political crisis:

1. Uddhav Thackeray was set to meet NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar later in the day amid tense political developments. A flurry of meetings has been going on in the state since Tuesday after Shinde went incommunicado and reports emerged that he was in Gujarat. But now the chief minister has tested positive for Covid, Congress leader Kamal Nath said.

2. The state cabinet is also scheduled to meet this afternoon where the chief minister will further hold discussions on the issue.

3. Shinde, along with more than three dozen MLAs, reached Assam after a brief stay in Gujarat. He was welcomed at the airport by some BJP leaders. He was also seen posing with MLAs at the five-star hotel in Surat. His rebellion comes after the legislative council polls in the state, where the BJP won a majority of seats and cross-voting was alleged.

4. "We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena and will not leave it. We have been following his Hindutva and will carry it further,” Shinde repeated on Wednesday morning after tweeting a similar statement on Tuesday. He has been removed as the chief whip of the Sena in the state assembly. Meanwhile. he has removed Sena reference from his bio.

5. Some reports suggest he is set to stake claim from Guwahati. The Sena - along with its coalition partners - has 166 MLAs in the 288-member state assembly. While the BJP has 106 lawmakers.

6. Earlier on Wednesday, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut yet again slammed the BJP. "We will continue to fight it out, what's the worst that can happen, we might lose power in Maharsahtra. We can get back in power but party's reputation is the most important thing," he said, while speaking to reporters.

7. "If BJP thinks that Thackeray government will collapse like a pack of cards but Shiv Sena has always risen from the ashes. Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray will meet later today. NCP and Congress are firmly with the Shiv Sena," he added.

8. The BJP has been saying it's in wait-and-watch mode as the ruling coalition partners deal with the rebellion. Uddhav Thackeray is believed to have been relying on anti-defection laws.

9. Congress's Kamal Nath, who has been sent by the party to the state, told reporters: "The kind of politics, that is driven by wealth, in states like Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, is antithetical to the Constitution of India. The rise of such politics sets a dangerous precedent for the future."

10. The political developments have also triggered the latest standoff between the Sena and the BJP. The Sena has been accusing the BJP of misusing the central probe agencies against the rival leaders.

(With inputs from ANI)

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