Maharashtra political turmoil live | Some BJP MLAs meeting Eknath Shinde in Surat, says State unit chief

A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party trumped the MVA government in Legislative Council polls, the stability of the State government has come under question as senior Sena minister Eknath Shinde reportedly left Mumbai along with his group of MLAs to be stationed at Surat in Gujarat

A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party trumped the MVA government in Legislative Council polls, the stability of the State government has come under question as senior Sena minister Eknath Shinde reportedly left Mumbai along with his group of MLAs to be stationed at Surat in Gujarat

The Maharashtra council polls for 10 seats resulted in a nail-biting finish with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yet again trumping over tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – after the Rajya Sabha polls – by winning five out of ten seats. In what could be an alarming situation for the State government, three MLAs each from Congress and Shiv Sena cross-voted in a secret ballot held on Monday.

Following the results of the polls, Sena leader and MVA Minister Eknath Shinde is said to have taken 11 party MLAs with him in what seems likely to be a rebellion within the saffron party against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. In Monday’s council poll, a total of 12 Sena MLAs cross-voted in favour of BJP candidates.

Sources in Surat confirmed that over a dozen legislators from Maharashtra have been lodged at the Le Meridien Hotel. “The legislators checked in late last night,“ the sources said adding that there is heavy police deployment in the area where the hotel is located.

Here are the latest updates

5.22 pm

Some BJP MLAs meeting Eknath Shinde in Surat: Maharashtra BJP chief

Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said some MLAs of the BJP will meet Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde camping in a Surat hotel in their “personal capacity” even as he distanced his party from the ongoing political turmoil. Mr. Patil also said if BJP receives any proposal from Mr. Shinde to form a government, they would “definitely consider it”.

He admitted that BJP MLA from Maharashtra, Sanjay Kute, had met Shinde.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Patil said the next 24 hours will be crucial and that the BJP is closely watching the developments.

“BJP MLA Sanjay Kute from Maharashtra met Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde in Surat in his personal capacity. The BJP has nothing to do with the ongoing developments. Shinde’s decision is not part of any game plan of the BJP,” Mr. Patil said. – PTI

4.47 pm

Sena leaders reach Surat to meet rebel MLAs

Shiv Sena leaders Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Fatak arrive in Surat to meet the rebel MLAs who are holed up at Le Meridien Hotel in the city.

4.10 pm

We are united, says Congress

Maharashtra Congress clarifies that all its party MLAs are in touch with State leadership and reports of some being unreachable are false.

Three party MLAs reportedly cross-voted during the recent Legislative Council elections.

2:55 pm

Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh’s wife files complaint of her husband going ‘missing’

Amid Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde and some Shiv Sena MLAs going incommunicado, party legislator Nitin Deshmukh’s wife has filed a police complaint of her husband going ‘missing’, a police official said on Tuesday.

Nitin Deshmukh is the Shiv Sena MLA from Balapur in Akola district.

His wife Pranjali Deshmukh filed a complaint at the Civil Lines police station in Akola, stating that her husband was not reachable since Monday night, and asked police to find him soon, the official said. -PTI

2:41 pm

Third attempt to pull down MVA govt in Maha: Pawar, says Thackeray will handle situation

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday alleged that a third attempt is being made to pull down the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra but expressed confidence that the chief minister Udhhav Thackeray will be able to handle the situation.

Mr. Pawar, who played a crucial role in the formation of the MVA government, said it will complete its full five-year term and ruled out going with the BJP, in case the state government falls.

2:41 pm

Sena removes Mr. Shinde from the post of Legislature Party leader

Shiv Sena removes Eknath Shinde from the post of Legislature Party leader. Senior party MLA Ajay Choudhari appointed as new Legislature Party leader.

2:38 pm

Eknath Shinde speaks on Twitter

Shiv Sena’s rebel leader Eknath Shinde speaks on Twitter. He talks about Hindutva and claims that he is a staunch Shiv Sena worker of Balasaheb Thackeray. He says he would never betray Sena founder’s teachings for the sake of power. He also recalls late Anand Dighe, former Sena strongman from Thane. -Alok Deshpande

2:29 pm

Kamal Nath deputed AICC observer for Maharashtra

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has deputed Kamal Nath as AICC observer for Maharashtra in the wake of the political developments. -Sandeep Phukan

1:51 pm

Political environment clear after Maha Council polls, people fed up of MVA govt: Union minister Danve

The political environment in Maharashtra is now clear after the Legislative Council elections and people are fed up with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Union Minister Raosaheb Danve said on Tuesday.

The BJP leader claimed that there was no control among MVA constituents — the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, and there was complete negligence towards problems of the people.

“It has become evident from the Legislative Council polls that the votes of the MVA constituents were divided and the Independents have supported us (BJP). The BJP’s fifth candidate won, while the Congress’ candidate was defeated by the other two parties (Sena and NCP),” Mr. Danve said while speaking to a Marathi news channel. -PTI

1:19 pm

Maharashtra CM Thackeray meets party leaders amid Sena minister and some MLAs camping in Gujarat

A meeting was underway on Tuesday between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena top leaders and MLAs, even as State minister Eknath Shinde was camping along with some party legislators in Gujarat.

CM Thackeray, who is also the Shiv Sena president, held a meeting where party MLAs Sunil Kadam, Dada Bhuse, Neelam Gorhe, MPs Arvind Sawant and Vinayak Raut, MLC Manisha Kayande and other leaders were present. -PTI

12:44 pm

As Maharashtra Sena minister goes incommunicado, BJP says no role in it

Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday said his party has got nothing to do with political developments in the ruling Shiv Sena, whose minister Eknath Shinde has gone incommunicado along with some MLAs. -PTI

12:35 pm

Union minister Rane comes out openly in support of Eknath Shinde

Union minister and BJP Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane came out openly in support of Eknath Shinde.

“Well done, Eknathji, you took the right decision at the appropriate time. Otherwise, soon you would have ended up like Anand Dighe,” Mr. Rane tweeted.

Dighe, the Shiv Sena leader from Thane, had died in 2001.

12:16 pm

Sharad Pawar sets off for Mumbai

NCP chief Sharad Pawar cancels his programs in Delhi and sets off for Mumbai; according to sources, to hold meetings with NCP leaders and CM Uddhav Thackeray in the evening. -PTI

12:15 pm

Shiv Sena likely to skip opposition meet to decide Presidential candidate

Battling a crisis in the Maharashtra government, the Shiv Sena leaders are likely to skip the opposition parties meeting on Tuesday to finalise their joint candidate for the Presidential election.

Senior party leader Sanjay Raut was scheduled to attend the meeting convened by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, but “he has cancelled his visit to Delhi,” a party functionary said. -PTI

12:12 pm

“Unrest within the MVA govt. reached a peak”

“This is Shiv Sena’s internal matter. We will accept any proposal offered to us by Mr. Shinde. Unrest within the MVA government had reached a peak. It was being dominated by the NCP for the last two-and-a-half years. Sanjay Raut is responsible for the Sena’s condition today,” said Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil on Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde’s rebellion.

However, Mr. Patil said it was premature to say how this internal resentment will benefit the BJP or convert into a regime change. On Mr. Shinde being holed up in Gujarat, Mr. Patil said it was possible that the Sena leader may have felt more secure there. -Shoumojit Banerjee

11:30 am

Turmoil on in Shiv Sena since one week, claims Maharashtra Congress leader

In view of Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde going incommunicado and apparently camping in Gujarat along with some party MLAs after the State Legislative Council polls, a Maharashtra Congress minister on Tuesday claimed there was unrest in the Sena since about a week.

However, state NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal said he does not feel that there is a threat to the Maharashtra Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. – PTI

11 am

More than 15 Maharashtra rebel MLAs camping in Le Meridien Hotel 

According to sources in Surat, more than 15 Maharashtra rebel MLAs are camping in Le Meridien Hotel in Surat. The legislators checked in late last night. Heavy Police deployment in the Athwalines area where the hotel is located. -Mahesh Langa

Le Meridian Hotel, Surat

10:50 am

Uddhav Thackeray calls for an urgent meeting

CM Uddhav Thackeray has called for an urgent meeting of party MLAs as Senior minister Eknath Shinde has reportedly reached Surat to along with his supporter MLAs. -Alok Deshpande

10:45 am

Sanjay Raut on the politics of the State

“Attempts are being made to use Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka patterns in Maharashtra. But it won’t work here. You cannot attack Sena like you did in other states,” said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

“We have established contacts with Sena MLAs in Surat and also with Mr. Shinde. We are confident that plans to destabilise the state government won’t succeed. All our MLAs will return. These MLAs have stayed with Sena in bad times and they will not leave us now. MLAs want to return but they have been put under surveillance and cannot come out of the hotel,” added Mr. Raut.

Gujarat is being used to torture Maharashtra. It is unfortunate, he further said. -Alok Deshpande

10:35 am

MPCC Chief on the political instability in the State

MPCC chief Nana Patole says tripartite “MVA government not in any danger”. BJP’s politics of misusing Central agencies and using money power to poach MLAs has been thoroughly exposed. Congress will introspect on its defeat in MLC polls, said Mr. Patole.

The State Congress has called for a meeting with its legislators. -Alok Deshpande

10 am

Eknath Shinde and his group of MLAs reportedly unreachable

Eknath Shinde. File

Eknath Shinde. File
| Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena senior minister Eknath Shinde along with his group of MLAs is reportedly unreachable since last night. The stability of the Maharashtra government is under the scanner as after Monday’s Council polls opposition BJP has demonstrated support of 133 MLAs from its earlier 112. Majority mark in Maharashtra assembly is 145.

Four Shiv Sena ministers, including Mr. Shinde, Sandipan Bhumre, Abdul Sattar and Shambhuraje Desai not reachable. -Alok Deshpande

June 20

BJP trumps MVA in Maharashtra council polls

The Maharashtra council polls for 10 seats resulted in a nail-biting finish with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yet again trumping over tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – after the Rajya Sabha polls – by winning five out of ten seats. In what could be an alarming situation for the State government, three MLAs each from Congress and Shiv Sena cross-voted in a secret ballot held on Monday.

The BJP did not miss the opportunity to warn that the results will ensure the beginning of a change and we will not stop until we bringing a people-friendly government in the State.


Editorial | On Maharashtra politics

The Hindu’s Editorial in 2019 on Maharashtra’s political turmoil, termed it as a betrayal of people’s mandate.

The political drama in Maharashtra that continued unabated since the Assembly election results on October 24 has been brought to an end, albeit temporarily, by the imposition of the President’s rule. The Maharashtra verdict was unambiguous and in favour of the BJP-Shiv Sena pre-poll alliance, but the partners could not agree on the terms of power sharing, leading to prolonged haggling between them.


Maharashtra government formation: a tale with many twists

A month after the Maharashtra Assembly election results were announced on October 24, 2022, the political impasse in the State seemed to have reached a climax, albeit with a stunning overnight twist. In less than twelve hours, the focus shifted from the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena alliance that was all set to form a government, to the BJP, as Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister early on Saturday along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM.

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