The Fact News Service

Maharashtra political crisis: Thackeray calls cabinet meeting today June 22

Mumbai, June 22
Amid a political turmoil in Maharashtra that has put up a question mark on the survival of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called a State Cabinet meeting at 1 pm on Wednesday. This comes as speculation is rife that Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with other MLAs might join the BJP in a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Eknath Shinde, with 33 party MLAs and seven independent MLAs, who were staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat arrived at Assam’s Guwahati on Wednesday morning. Shinde on Wednesday claimed that 40 party MLAs have reached Assam and said that they will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva. Shinde along with other MLAs was staying at a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat following the cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls and took flight earlier today to reach Guwahati. “A total of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs are present here. We will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva,” said Shinde after arriving in Guwahati. A group of Maharashtra MLAs reached Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam today morning. Shinde, upon arrival in Guwahati, said that 40 Shiv Sena MLAs are present here. Shinde and some other MLAs were unreachable after suspected cross-voting in MLC polls. This comes after suspected cross-voting in Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, in a major blow to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena won two each while Congress was able to clinch one seat out of the total 10 seats in Legislative Council that went to the polls on Monday. After the MLC elections, Shinde along with some other Shiv Sena MLAs was staying at Le Meridien hotel in Surat. A Shiv Sena delegation comprising Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s close aides Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak also met Shinde and other party legislators in Surat. Alleging that efforts are being made to topple the MVA government, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday confirmed that some Shiv Sena MLAs and Eknath Shinde were currently “not reachable”. He said that Shiv Sena MLAs were in Surat and they were not being allowed to leave. 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. However, sources said Shinde has been feeling sidelined since the formation of the MVA government. His son Shrikant Shinde represents the Kalyan Lok Sabha seat.