Maharashtra Political Crisis News Highlights: Shiv Sena seeks … – The Indian Express

Maharashtra News Highlights, June 23, 2022: The newly appointed Shiv Sena legislature party leader Ajay Choudhari met the acting speaker Narhari Zhirwal on Thursday asking him to take action against the 12 MLAs who have joined the Eknath Shinde faction for violating party discipline. Speaking to The Indian Express, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said, “We had called for two meetings on June 22 and a whip was issued by Sunil Prabhu. These MLAs were given notices and asked why they were not present. Some gave explanations, but they may be real or fake. Hence, we have sought their disqualification.”
As the Shiv Sena appeared to offer a compromise by saying that it was ready to move out of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra if the rebel MLAs returned within 24 hours, the Nationalist Congress Party said that it would stick by CM Uddhav Thackeray till the end as the current government has the ability to win a floor test if proper procedures are followed. “I have seen many such situations in Maharashtra and I am confident that the Uddhav Thackeray government will go past this crisis,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said.
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Three more MLAs of the Shiv Sena have joined Eknath Shinde’s camp in Assam’s Guwahati since Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, Sena MLAs Deepak Kesarkar, Sada Sarvankar, and Aashish Jaiswal reached Radisson Blu in Guwahati and were welcomed by Eknath Shinde and other rebel legislators. With the addition of these three MLAs, at least 37 Sena legislators are siding with Shinde which is two-thirds of the party’s strength in the legislature.
Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde sent a letter to Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Narhari Zirwal late Thursday night regarding the reaffirmation of appointment of Shinde as the leader of  Shiv Sena Legislature Party and appointment of  Bharatshet Gogawale as the Chief Whip of Sena legislative party. 
“I am enclosing herewith a copy of the Resolution dated 23 day of June 2022 (hereinafter to be referred as the Resolution) regarding the reaffirmation of appointment of Mr. Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde as the leader of our Shiv Sena Legislature Party and further appointment of Shri Bharatshet Gogawale as the Chief Whip of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party by the undersigned members of Shiv Sena Legislature Party,” the letter read.
The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, in their resolution endorsing their acceptance of rebel minister Eknath Shinde’s leadership, also mentioned “tremendous harassment and distress” faced by the Sena cadre on “political as well as personal grounds” from the “opposition ideological parties” among the reasons why they wanted to chart a new political trajectory for the party in Maharashtra.
Some of these Sena MLAs have, however, alleged earlier that the party cadre and leaders have been facing “harassment” in the form of investigations launched by various agencies of the BJP-ruled Centre against them. Read more

Elaborating on his earlier tweet, Eknath Shinde added: “Whom are you trying to scare. We understand the law and the farce that you are playing. As per the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, the application of a whip is limited to the functioning of legislative assembly and not for meetings. There are numerous SC rulings in this regard. We know the law and are unaffected by your threats.”
Reacting to the Shiv Sena’s move seeking disqualification of 12 MLAs in his camp, rebel leader Eknath Shinde said: “The whip, which you are citing for disqualification, is for Assembly work and not meetings. We are the real Shiv Sainiks following the principles of Balasaheb.”
The newly appointed Shiv Sena legislature party leader Ajay Choudhari met the acting speaker Narhari Zhirwal on Thursday asking him to take action against the 12 MLAs who have joined the Eknath Shinde faction for violating party discipline. Speaking to The Indian Express, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said, “We had called for two meetings on June 22 and a whip was issued by Sunil Prabhu. These MLAs were given notices and asked why they were not present. Some gave explanations, but they may be real or fake. Hence, we have sought their disqualification.”
Agriculture minister Dada Bhuse and and former minister Sanjay Rathod reached the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati to join Eknath Shinde’s camp. Bhuse is a close Eknath Shinde supporter and had reportedly told the CM Uddhav Thackeray that the Shiv Sena must align with the BJP. He left for Guwhati via Surat. Alongwith him were MLC Ravindra Phatak from Thane who had gone with Sena functionary Milind Narvekar to convince Shinde to come back.

The latest round of the uniquely Indian exercise of ‘resort politics’ is playing out in Assam where a five-star hotel in Guwahati has become the centre of the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra. The MLAs led by Eknath Shinde were, at first, in a hotel in Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat after reaching there on Monday. Afterwards, they flew to Guwahati in Assam, another BJP-ruled state, on Wednesday. Here, they have been camping at a five-star hotel which the rebel MLAs have booked for seven days, showing that it was ready for a long haul to get what they wanted.
We take a look at the cost of rooms at these properties in Gujarat and Assam to get an idea of how expensive this ‘operation’ has been for Eknath Shinde and the MLAs. Read More

As the Shiv Sena appeared to offer a compromise by saying that it was ready to move out of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra if the rebel MLAs returned within 24 hours, the Nationalist Congress Party said that it would stick by CM Uddhav Thackeray till the end as the current government has the ability to win a floor test if proper procedures are followed. “I have seen many such situations in Maharashtra and I am confident that the Uddhav Thackeray government will go past this crisis,” NCP chief Sharad Pawar said.
A chartered aircraft, three luxury buses, and a hotel about a kilometre from the airport — it has been a costly affair for Eknath Shinde to get the rebel MLAs out of Maharashtra so as to try and break the Shiv Sena away from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Read More

Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that his party stands tall beside the Shiv Sena. “We will stand with Uddhav Thackeray ji till the end. We are keeping an eye on the current political situation,” he added.

Agriculutre Minister Dada Bhuse also left for Guwahati to join the Eknath Shinde faction. Bhuse is a close Eknath Shinde supporter and had reportedly told the CM Uddhav Thackeray that the Shiv Sena must align with the BJP
He left for Guwhati via Surat. Alongwith him were MLC Ravindra Phatak from Thane who had gone with Sena functionary Milind Narvekar to convince Shinde to come back. Former minister and Yavatmal MLA also travelled in the same Cessna Citation XLS from Surat to Guwahati.

Amid the political crisis ensuing in Maharashtra, Mrinal Pande writes: “The battle for the heart of Maharashtra unfolds before us like a scene out of the Greco Roman wars. On one side, we have the somewhat battle-weary combined forces of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi; on the other, Eknath Shinde, the mighty dissident from the Shiv Sena with his swelling band of brothers, claiming that the coalition that the Sena had made with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Sonia Gandhi’s Congress was unholy.” Read More 
On Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena supremo tried to get a measure of his support amongst elected Shiv Sena MLAs by calling a meeting of the legislators. There are 15 MLAs who showed up, eight of whom are from Mumbai alone. We take look at who these MLAs are and where they hail from. Read More

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said on Thursday that he did not think that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would do an “about-turn” and agree to the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs’ demand that the Sena pull out of the ruling MVA alliance.
Chavan was reacting to Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s statement earlier in the day that the Sena was “ready to consider” the demand of the MLAs led by Eknath Shinde that it should end the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance with the NCP and Congress. “Does Sena want to join hands with the BJP in Maharashtra? The motives of Shiv Sena are not yet clear,” Chavan, a former chief minister, told reporters when asked about Raut’s comment.
“I have not heard Uddhav Thackeray sounding like this in his Wednesday evening’s public address. I would be surprised if Uddhav Thackeray does such an about-turn in less than 24 hours. I don’t think that Thackeray would do that,” he said. (PTI)
At a time when Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that his party will re-think the ruling alliance in Maharashtra if the rebel leaders returned to Mumbai, NCP leader Jayant Patil said: “Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi is a government established for the development and welfare of Maharashtra. We will stand firmly with Uddhav Thackeray.”
महाराष्ट्र विकास आघाडी हे महाराष्ट्राचा विकास आणि कल्याणासाठी स्थापन झालेले सरकार आहे. श्री. उद्धवजी ठाकरे यांच्यासोबत आम्ही शेवट पर्यंत ठामपणे उभे आहोत. वंदनीय बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांच्या विचारांशी प्रतारणा होईल असे वर्तन कोणताही सच्चा शिवसैनिक करणार नाही, असा मला विश्वास आहे.
Following Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s comments that his party will re-think the ruling alliance in Maharashtra if the rebel leaders returned to Mumbai, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said: “We are with them (Shiv Sena) to stop the BJP from coming to power. This game is happening due to the ED… Congress is ready for a floor test. If they (Shiv Sena) want to form an alliance with anyone, we don’t have a problem.”
Amid the political crisis that is currently going in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena MLAs Kailash Patil and Nitin Deshmukh returned to Mumbai on Thursday after having defected to the Eknath Shinde camp earlier. They were felicitated by senior Sena leaders upon their return.
Felicitated our two MLAs Kailash Patil ji and Nitin Deshmukh ji who returned from Guwahati, Assam. Many more to return.. patience & time. pic.twitter.com/orTpELhMlN
After managing to bring a huge number of Shiv Sena MLAs into his fold, rebel leader Eknath Shinde has made a list of at least 400 former corporators and a few MPs who are expected to cross over to his side after he joins the new government, said sources Thursday. This may be another big jolt to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and will create a challenge for the party to prevail in the upcoming civic body election likely to be held in three to four months, post monsoon. Read More
In an attempt to abate the ongoing crisis, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the party is ready to re-think its alliance with the Congress and NCP if they returned to Mumbai in the next 24 hours. “If you are saying you are not leaving Shiv Sena and if your issue is with government, then we are willing to come out of it. But first, show the courage to come back and put forth your demands to Uddhav Thackeray. It will be considered if you come back within 24 hours,” Raut said.
Addressing a press conference, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said that the party is in touch with 21 of its MLAs in Guwahati. “Let them release photos or videos showing number of MLAs they have. But the day they will return to Mumbai, the MLAs will be with Shiv Sena. In future, if a situation of having a floor test in state assembly arises, we have sufficient numbers to win,” Raut said.
Meanwhile, all the Sena workers in the state have been asked to contact the family members or close associates of the rebel Sena MLAs and through them make an attempt to convince them to return.

Shiv Sena workers raised slogans and showered petals on the CM as he left his official house along with his family members at around 9.50 pm. He reached outside Matoshri at around 10.30 pm. However, it took another 40 minutes for the CM to cover a short distance from outside Matoshri to inside his residence. Amid the escalating political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, Uddhav, in an address to the state, had stated: “I will submit my resignation letter if they come and ask for it. If any MLA wants me to not continue as the CM, I am ready to take all my belongings from Varsha Bungalow (official residence of the CM) to Matoshree.”
Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut asserted Thackeray will not resign following the rebellion and maintained the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.
Sena MLA Kailas Patil says he escaped while being taken to Gujarat
Thackeray, through a Facebook live, reached out to rebels with an emotional appeal and offered to quit, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him. Thackeray said he was ready to step down if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him, all camping in Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam, declare that they don’t want him to continue as CM.
Thackeray, who has tested positive for Covid-19, admitted to being inexperienced and clarified that a spine surgery late last year kept him away from meeting people. Recalling the events of November 2019 when the MVA took shape, Thackeray said he agreed to become CM despite his political inexperience after NCP president Sharad Pawar suggested him to take up the job.
Wary of 2019 failure to form govt, BJP to tread with caution this time
Thackeray said he was shocked at the ongoing political developments in the state, which started on Monday night when Shinde (58) raised a banner of revolt and landed in a hotel in Surat with a bunch of disgruntled MLAs. The CM reiterated his party’s commitment to Hindutva. “Hindutva is Shiv Sena’s breath. I was the first CM to speak about Hindutva in the Legislative Assembly,” Thackeray said.
Showing no signs of backing down from his revolt, Shinde said MVA was an “unnatural” alliance and it was imperative for the Shiv Sena to walk out of the coalition for its own sake and that of party workers. The Sena strongman said the MVA was beneficial only to alliance partners the Congress and the NCP, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s existence.
Shortly after landing in Guwahati, Assam along with other rebel MLAs from Maharashtra, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde told reporters there were 40 MLAs present along with him, who would “carry forward Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva”. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena shifted its 12 MLAs to the St Regis hotel in Lower Parel.
Out of touch with MLAs, lacklustre in administration, how Uddhav Thackeray lost the plot
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari tested positive for Covid-19, and was admitted to the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in south Mumbai for treatment. The 80-year-old, who has been seen wearing a face mask at public events, said his symptoms were mild and he has been admitted in hospital as a precautionary measure.
Crisis on the way: intel warned Maharashtra govt two months ago
The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 55 MLAs, followed by allies the NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288-member assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144. Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed that 14 to 15 Sena MLAs, including some ministers, are with Shinde in Gujarat’s Surat city. However, another party leader had said the number could be 23. This is for the first time that the rebel MLAs outside the northeast region have been brought to Assam.

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