Sena Rebels Gain 3 As Uddhav Thackeray Allies Pitch An Offer: 10 Points

Uddhav Thackeray greets supporters outside his private residence ‘Matoshree’. (PTI)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray moved out of his official residence last night, hours after an emotional appeal and an offer to quit. Shiv Sena rebels have written to the Governor declaring Eknath Shinde as their leader.

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:

  1. The Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP — the alliance partners of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra — have suggested that rebel Eknath Shinde be named as Chief Minister as a way out of the huge political crisis that has engulfed the ruling coalition, sources said.

  2. Eknath Shinde, who is leading the Sena revolt, has claimed that the ruling coalition was beneficial only to alliance partners, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s rule. “It is important to take a decision in the interest of the state,” Mr Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati along with rebel Sena MLAs, tweeted Wednesday.

  3. The Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece, “Saamana”, said that the rebels MLAs were elected on Shiv Sena tickets, warning “if the Shiv Sainiks decide, then all will be the former forever”.

  4. With the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s existence at stake, Mr Thackeray on Wednesday mentioned his father and party founder Balasaheb Thackeray as he made an emotional address to rebels. 

  5. “If my own people don’t want me as Chief Minister, he should walk up to me and say so… I’m ready to resign… I am Balasaheb’s son, I am not after a post,” Uddhav Thackeray — who tested positive for Covid — said in a Facebook address this evening.

  6. The rebel MLAs, camping in BJP-ruled Assam, met shortly after Mr Thackeray’s address. The meeting lasted about 50 minutes. Mr Shinde has claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including 6-7 Independent MLAs. “This number will rise in the time to come,” Mr Shinde was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

  7. The Shinde camp currently has 33 MLAs (out of the party’s 55 MLAs) on its side. It needs four more to split the party without facing disqualification under anti-defection laws. Five Independent MLAs are with Mr Shinde too. The ruling alliance has claimed that 17 Sena MLAs are ready to come back to Mumbai.

  8. The BJP says the political crisis in Maharashtra is the Shiv Sena’s internal matter and that the party is not staking claim to form a government in the state. “We haven’t spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is Shiv Sena’s internal matter. BJP has nothing to do with this. We’re not staking claim to form the government,” Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve, who met party leader Devendra Fadnavis, told the media.

  9. The journey from his official residence at Malabar Hills to his home ‘Matoshree’ in Bandra – which usually takes 15-20 minutes –  took almost one hour as Mr Thackeray’s entourage negotiated hundreds of Shiv Sainiks who had gathered at the 15-km stretch braving the Mumbai rain.

  10. A resolution, passed by the Shiv Sena Legislature Party carrying signatures of 34 MLAs that rebel leader Eknath Shinde continues to be the leader, has been sent to the state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut, meanwhile, has asserted that Mr Thackeray will not resign, and maintained the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.

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