Maharashtra plunges into political crisis
What Shiv Sena MLA, Eknath Shinde has done is unprecedented. Shinde who claims to have the support of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs and 4 Independents has stated that Uddhav Thackeray should abandon the Congress and NCP and form a government with the BJP. Shinde seems confident that he can beat the Anti-defection Act which requires that any group that breaks away from the main party should have at least two-thirds of the MLAs from that Party. The Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the present House. The MLAs who were holed up in a hotel in BJP ruled Gujarat until Tuesday and who were actually well guarded by the State Police there have now moved to Guwahati in Assam and are holed up at Hotel Radisson Blu. Such hotel politics where MLAs have been whisked away from the western part of the country to the North Eastern state of Assam has been happening quite frequently during the BJP rule in this country. The BJP claims that it is on a wait and watch policy but in Gujarat the BJP leaders have been in a pow-wow with the Sena MLAs. And there are senior BJP leaders, including the Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma conferring with the Sena MLAs in Guwahati.
Meanwhile former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis made no bone about the BJP intent. He said the BJP strategy is to exploit the unrest within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government and to provide the agitated MLAs from the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena etc., to find a credible alternative. Meanwhile Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday called for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addressed the media on Wednesday and said he was ready to give up the CM’s post if the Sena MLAs would return. He said he had never been ambitious but that the Chief Ministership was foisted on him. Thackeray seems to have realised that the Shiv Sena has reached a point of no return since Eknath Shinde claims he has 40 MLAs who have accompanied him to Guwahati.
The Shiv Sena legislators have rebelled against the party, plunging the three-party MVA government into a deep crisis. This crisis came after suspected cross-voting in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the BJP bagged five seats thereby dealing a major blow to the NCP which won only 2 seats; Shiv Sena also won two seats while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in the Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday.