Uddhav Thackeray - Eknath Shinde

Uddhav Thackeray’s problems in Maharashtra turned into crisis when the man supposed to be his main political weapon – Eknath Shinde turned a rebel, descending Uddhav’s government into numerical minority.

A former Autorickshaw driver turned politician from Thane in Maharshtra,  Eknath Shinde has reportedly gone to Guwahati with Maharashtra MLAs loyal to him. He had originally flown to Gujarat’s Surat and was camping at a five-star hotel with his army of loyalists who are said to have rebelled against the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition government.

With both states Gujarat and Assa under the BJP rule, the crisis has added a fresh flashpoint for the critics of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attack the BJP. This also provides ammunition to those who are not happy with the Shiv Sena and BJP alliance going astray after the last election which resulted in the  MVA government in the state.

Eknath Shinde, who has upstaged the likes of octogenarian Sharad Pawar, has political ambitions for the state’s top job. In a presser Sharad Pawar clarified he had no idea of Eknath Shinde’s aspirations for the top job.

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“We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and will not leave it. We have been following his Hindutva and will carry it further, said Shiv Sena leader,” Shinde was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has met leaders of the Sena and coalition partners. In the state assembly, the Sena – along with its coalition partners – has 166 MLAs. While the BJP has 106 lawmakers.

In the 288-member house, the ruling leader will require 145 members to rule. About 40 MLAs are with Eknath Shinde. If those 40 do not vote with Uddhav, that alone reduces Uddhav Thackeray’s majority of 166 to minority of 126 and any floor test if conducted on these numbers, Uddhav will face embarrassing defeat.

Sanjay Raut who is the well-known attack dog (politically speaking), first claiming the situation was under control, went on to claim his party colleagues were being forcibly kept in Gujarat.

“MLA Nitin Deshmukh is in BJP control in Surat. He was kidnapped from Mumbai. On Monday night, he tried to free himself. Then he was brutally beaten up by the Gujarat Police and goons. The goons of Mumbai are also there. Violence on Gujarat soil?” Raut said in a tweet.

The drama continues.

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