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Maharashtra Political Crisis: Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs Sign Letter of Support to Shinde

Guwahati: Forty Maharashtra MLAs including 33 Shiv Sena and seven independent MLAs signed a letter exhorting their support to rebel Shiv Sena leader and state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, sources said.

Sources further said the rebel legislators may write to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari seeking for floor test in the state Legislative Assembly, ANI reported.

The 40 MLAs led by Shinde arrived at a luxury hotel in Guwahati on Wednesday. The revolt in the Shiv Sena has given rise to speculations that Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

“A total of 40 MLAs are present here. We will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva,” said Shinde after arriving in Guwahati.

The Shiv Sena MLAs were received by BJP MLA Sushanta Borgohain and BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das at Guwahati airport.

Shinde along with Shiv Sena and independent legislatures was staying in a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat following the cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls and took flight earlier today to reach Guwahati.

Before leaving for Guwahati, a video was released in which all the rebel MLAs are seen sitting together in a surat hotel. In another video, all the MLAs are seen putting their signatures on paper.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called for a state cabinet meeting today at 1 pm.

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, however, said that his party would “definitely consider” a proposal if it comes from Shinde to form an alternative government.

Amid the drama, Shinde took a veiled dig at Shiv Sena for joining hands with Congress and NCP to form the government in the state and tweeted, “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.”

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 ANI report said.

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil claimed that “technically” the state government is in “minority” as Eknath Shinde and other Shiv Sena MLAs have gone.

He said that the BJP was presently in a “wait and watch” mode and added that there has not been any proposal regarding government formation neither from the BJP nor from Shinde.

“BJP got support from independents and small political parties for Rajya Sabha and MLC elections. As per our information, Eknath Shinde and 35 MLAs have gone. This means technically state government is in minority but practically it will take some time for the government to be in minority,” he said.

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