In Sanjay Raut’s tweet, signs of the end of ‘Maha’ opposition unity?
- The Maharashtra government is at risk of falling
- The BJP has 106 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly
- Eknath Shinde has promised the rest of the numbers
Uddhav Thackeray, the Maharashtra chief minister, is battling a rebellion within his party and coronavirus. The Maharashtra government is at serious risk of falling after Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, a coalition of Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Shinde is said to have garnered enough support from within the Shiv Sena to topple the state government.
Sanjay Raut, one of the most visible national faces of the Shiv Sena and editor of party newspaper Saamna, tweeted in Marathi Wednesday afternoon writing: “The political developments in Maharashtra are heading towards a dismissal of the Vidhan Sabha,” a sign, as clear as day, that the MVA government is heading towards a fall.
The same Raut had earlier said, “Power is fleeting. What will happen at most? We’ll lose power. We will get it back again.” He said this while claiming that he had spoken to rebel MLA Eknath Shinde for an hour.
In a desperate bid to save the government, Uddhav Thackeray chaired a meeting with his cabinet on Wednesday afternoon. All Shiv Sena MLAs have been asked to come to the chief minister’s residence at 5pm. They have been warned that non-attendance would mean dismissal.
Eknath Shinde, the rebel leader who was Shiv Sena’s chief whip until he was dismissed, engineered the crisis when the BJP won five seats in the Rajya Sabha instead of four because of cross-voting within the Shiv Sena. Shinde, media reports indicate, wants the Shiv Sena to dissolve the MVA government and rule Maharashtra in a coalition with the BJP.
The BJP has 106 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly. In order to form a government, it needs 37 more MLAs. Eknath Shinde claims to have the numbers. While Shinde is keen on taking the Shiv Sena along, sources with the party have indicated to various media networks that Uddhav Thackeray may be willing to let the government fall than partner-up with the BJP.