NEW DELHI: Amid the deepening political turmoil in Maharashtra, more rebel MLAs arrived at Guwahati's Radisson Blu Hotel where ousted party leader Eknath Shinde and other MLAs are lodged.
According to sources, more than 37 MLAs of Shiv Sena
including Sanjay Rathod, Dadaji Bhuse are present with Eknath Shinde at the hotel.
Earlier on Thursday, state Congress president Nana Patole accused deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar of harassing Congress MLAs and ministers by stalling their development funds.
Meanwhile, 3 more Shiv Sena MLAs joined the rebel group of MLAs led by Shinde, thereby escalating the political unrest in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Here is a look at the latest developments in the story-
Shiv Sena proposes names of MLAs for disqualification
After the party proposed names of 12 MLAs for disqualification rebel MLA Eknath Shinde tweeted - "You cannot scare us by giving the names of 12 MLAs for disqualification because we are followers of the Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. We know the law, so we do not pay heed to threats."
Shiv Sena MLAs whose names proposed for disqualification are - Eknath Shinde, Prakash Surve, Tanaji Sawant, Mahesh Shinde, Abdul Sattar, Sandeep Bhumare, Bharat Gogawale, Sanjay Shirsat, Yamini Yadhav, Anil Babar, Balaji Devdas and Lata Chaudhari.
Shinde says 'national party' has assured all help
Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, whose rebellion has pushed the three-party MVA government to the brink of collapse, said a "national party" has termed their revolt as "historic" and assured to provide all help to them.
A video of Shinde addressing the group of rebel Sena legislators at a Guwahati hotel was released by his office. The video also showed the legislators unanimously authorising Shinde to take further decision on their behalf as their group leader.
In the video, Shinde is seen saying, "Our worries and happiness are the same. We are united and victory will be ours. There is a national party, a 'mahashakti'...you know they vanquished Pakistan. That party has said that we have taken a historic decision and assured to provide all help." Pawar harrassed MLAs, alleges Maha Cong chief
Maharashtra Congress chief has accused NCP leader Ajit Pawar of harrassing MLAs and stalling their development funds.
"Ajit Pawar has harassed Congress MLAs and ministers also. We opposed this tactics saying the government was for the welfare of people. Our opposition to such tactic was not political," Patole told media.
Patole's statement was in reference to some rebel Shiv Sena MLAs targeting the NCP for denying development funds to them. Maharashtra Cong 'upset' at Sena's offer to quite MVA
The Maharashtra Congress is reportedly unhappy with the statement of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut who offered to quit the MVA government in the state, if the rebel MLAs are also willing.
Senior Congress leaders including HK Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Nana Patole and Ashok Chavan participated in the meeting called at Sahyadri guest house.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said that the party is with Shiv Sena to stop the BJP from coming to power in the state. "We're with the Shiv Sena to stop BJP from coming to power," he told news agency ANI.
This game is happening due to ED...Congress is ready for the floor test. We're with MVA and will remain. If they(Shiv Sena) want to form an alliance with anyone, we don't have a problem," he added. Shiv Sena ready to leave the MVA: Sanjay Raut
Amid a rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut has said that the Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, if the group of rebel MLAs camping in Assam return to Mumbai within 24 hours and discuss the issue with the chief minister.
"You say you are real Shiv Sainiks
and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut said.
"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks. Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added.
Later in the day he said doors are still open for talks and that discussions can lead the way," he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Shiv Sena and nine independents in Guwahati, which has plunged the party-led state government into a crisis. We are confident of floor test: Sanjay Raut
Claiming of being in touch with 20 MLAs from the Eknath Shinde camp in Guwahati, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has said that it will be for everyone will see when the floor test happens, adding that those who leave party under pressure from Enforcement Directorate are not real followers of Balasaheb Thackeray.
Amid political instability in the ruling government in Maharashtra, Raut further claimed that the party is still strong and that the rebels are not true "bhakts" (devotees) of Bal Thackeray. Maharashtra political crisis: Live updates
Taking a dig at Eknath Shinde, Raut said, "We are with Balasaheb Thackeray and work under Uddhav Thackeray, I support Balasaheb Thackeray and I follow Balasaheb Thackeray.
"I won't talk about any camp, I will talk about my party. Our party is strong even to this day, about 21 MLAs are in touch with us. When they come to Mumbai, you will get to know," he further added. Floor test will prove who as majority: Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that his party will continue to fight and that a floor test will decide who has majority.
He added that the situation will change once the rebel MLAs return to Mumbai and that his party will continue to support Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray.
"Everyone knows how the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs were taken to Gujarat & then Assam. We don't have to take the names of all those assisting them...Assam Government is helping them. I don't need to take any names further."
Will stand with Uddhav, won't join any other party: NCP
Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil made it categorically clear that if the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra falls, the NCP will prefer to sit in Opposition.
"We won't join hands with any other party, and will stand firmly with Uddhav Thackeray government," he added
He further added that this is not the time for us to comment on and it was not discussed with us. We support Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister and will try our best to save his government.
His statement comes after the NCP held a meeting at party chief Sharad Pawar's residence earlier today.
Patil said Sharad Pawar has asked party leaders to do everything that needs to be done to ensure that the government remains.
"We had a meeting at the residence of Sharad Pawar. An assessment of incidents in the last three-four days was done. He told us that we should do everything that needs to be done to ensure that the government remains. We will stand with Uddhav Thackeray, with this government."
BJP's attempt to topple Maha govt unethical: Mamata
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hit out at the BJP for trying to “topple” the MVA government in Maharashtra in an “unethical and unconstitutional” manner.
She said the saffron party has deliberately chosen to "disturb" the Maharashtra government at a time when the presidential polls are approaching.
"It's an unfortunate fact that the federal structure has been totally demolished by the BJP-led central government, she told reporters. Rebel Sena MLA writes to Maha CM Thackeray
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsat has written a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, claiming that state minister Eknath Shinde took the step of going against the party leadership as Sena MLAs, who faced "humilitation" for the last two-and-a-half years, persuaded him to do so.
Shirsat, the MLA from Aurangabad (West) Assembly constituency, in a letter dated June 22, claimed that despite the Shiv Sena being in power and having its own chief minister, the coterie around Thackeray never allowed them access to 'Varsha', the CM's official residence.
There was no question of going to 'Mantralaya', the state secretariat, because the chief minister never came there, he wrote in his letter. 3 more MLAs join Eknath Shinde camp
Three more Shiv Sena MLAs joined the rebel group of MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati at Radisson Blue Hotel on Thursday morning further deepening the political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Last night four more MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati. With this, seven more MLAs have joined the rebel group in the last 24 hours. Moreover, a resolution passed by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party carrying signatures of 34 MLAs that rebel leader Eknath Shinde continues to be the leader, has been sent to the state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Thackeray vacates CM house after offering to resign
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray left his official residence 'Varsha' along with his family members last night, hours after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.
Shiv Sena workers and supporters showered petals and raised slogans in support of Thackeray when he left with his family from his official residence - Varsha Bungalow.
The CM moved out of 'Varsha', his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshri, the private bungalow of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra. The developments took place amid high drama even as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde. How Kamal Nath will save Maharashtra govt?
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a jibe at Congress over its decision to depute senior party leader Kamal Nath as All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer in Maharashtra amid its political crisis.
"Congress is counting its last moments," the chief minister said while addressing a public rally in Ujjain.
He asked the Congress leadership how Kamal Nath will save the Maharashtra government when he could not save his own government in Madhya Pradesh.
"Kamal Nath (MP Congress chief and former MP CM) has gone to Maharashtra... how will someone who couldn't save his own govt in Madhya Pradesh, save the Maharashtra government?... Congress is counting its last moments," Chouhan said.
The Congress on Tuesday deputed its senior leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath as an AICC observer in the state.
The decision came soon after reports that some Shiv Sena MLAs along with party leader Eknath Shinde moved to Surat posing threat to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. BJP not staking claim to form government in Maharashtra
BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Patil Danve said that the political crisis in Maharashtra was Shiv Sena's internal matter and the BJP is not staking claim to form a government in the state.
Danve, who met party leader Devendra Fadnavis, told the media here that no Shiv Sena MLA is in touch with the party.
"We haven't spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is Shiv Sena's internal matter. BJP has nothing to do with this. We're not staking claim to form the government," said Danve who is Minister of State for Railways. Following is the timeline of the Maharashtra political crisis till 4 pm on Wednesday-
What led to the political crisis?
- Shiv Sena asks all party MLAs to attend legislature party meeting in Mumbai at 5 pm.
- Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh returns from Surat; says he was forcibly admitted to hospital, given injections.
- Maharashtra Governor, CM test positive for Covid-19 Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweets: "Ongoing political developments a journey towards dissolution of the State Assembly."
- Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath arrives in Mumbai to meet party legislators.
- Nath speaks to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray over phone, meets NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
- Maharashtra Congress legislature party meets.
- Nath says Congress MLAs not for sale.
- On arrival in Guwahati, Sena rebel leader Shinde claims he has 40 MLAs with him.
- Chartered flight carrying rebel Shiv Sena MLAs lands at Guwahati.
- The MLAs include ministers of state Shambhuraje Desai, Abdul Sattar, Sandipan Bhumre and Bachu Kadu of Sena ally Prahar Janshakti Party.
- Shiv Sena MLAs leave Surat hotel, fly to Guwahati in the wee hours.
The big political crisis comes after suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, in a major blow to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government.
The Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena won two seats each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday.
After the MLC elections, Shinde along with some other Shiv Sena MLAs was staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat. A Shiv Sena delegation comprising Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's close aides Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak also met Shinde and other party legislators in Surat.
Eknath Shinde, along with 33 party MLAs and seven independent MLAs, who were staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat arrived in Guwahati on Wednesday morning.
Shinde has also dropped "Shiv Sena" from his Twitter bio. He has been instrumental in strengthening the organisation in the Thane region and was made the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in 2014 after the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP. Shinde was appointed as a cabinet minister in the MVA government.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena used to be allies until 2019 when after contesting the Maharashtra Assembly elections together both parted ways over the issue of the chief ministerial post. Following days of the political impasse and high-voltage drama, the Shiv Sena finally formed the government along with the Congress and the NCP, with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government. (With inputs from agencies)Watch Eknath Shinde tweets rebel MLA's letter to Thackeray: CM was inaccessible to us