Will never cheat: Eknath Shinde after being sacked as Shiv Sena chief
- Eknath Shinde and reportedly 26 MLAs of his party went incommunicado and camping in Surat
- MLA Ajay Chaudhary will replace him
- As soon as the decision was announced, Shinde tweeted that he will never cheat for power
Eknath Shinde, who along with some MLAs was camping in Surat, has been sacked as the chief of Shiv Sena as Maharashtra political crisis continues. This comes a day after the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, Maha Vikas Aghadi coaliation, suffered a setback in the state Legislative Council polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.
Shinde and reportedly 26 MLAs of his party went incommunicado and camping in Surat. While no one has been allowed to move out of the property, media reports said nine more MLAs are likely to join him at the resort. Maharashtra BJP MLA Sanjay Kute, meanwhile, in a bid to meet the rebel MLAs reached the resort.
Shinde was removed from the post of the party group leader. MLA Ajay Chaudhary will replace him . The announcement came amid a meeting being held at the official residence of CM Uddhav Thackeray.
As soon as the decision was announced, Shinde tweeted that he will never cheat for power.
"We are Balasaheb's staunch Shiv Sainiks ... Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva .. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb's thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb's teachings," he tweeted in Marathi.
He also said that Uddhav Thackeray will handle the situation which is an internal matter of the Sena.
In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena has 55 MLAS, NCP (53), Congress (44), Bahujan Vikas Agahdi (three), Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party two each. MNS, CPI-M, PWP, Swabhimani Paksha, Rashtriya Samaj Party, Jansurajya Shakti Party and Krantikari Shetkari Paksha have one MLA each. There are 13 independent MLAs.
The opposition BJP has 106 MLAs.
Leaders of NCP and Congress, the other constituents of the MVA, however, asserted that there is no threat to the stability of the state government. As Sena struggled to quell the unrest, party MP Sanjay Raut claimed that contact has been established with Shinde, who he described as a “loyal Shiv Sainik of Balasaheb Thackeray”.
In the polls, the BJP managed to win all the five seats it had contested though it had votes to win four candidates. The Sena and NCP won two seats each. Congress suffered a jolt as one of its two nominees lost.
A Shiv Sena leader said Shinde was present at Vidhan Bhavan on Monday till around 5 PM along with CM Thackeray.