Code Red For Uddhav Thackeray As Sena Rebel Flaunts Numbers: 10 Points

Guwahati:
Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde claimed the support of 46 MLAs this morning in an exclusive interview to NDTV after taking a 2.30 am flight to BJP-ruled Assam. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray faces a coup that could topple his government.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. Eknath Shinde needs the support of 37 MLAs – a two-third majority in his party – to split the party without facing disqualification under the anti-defection law.

  2. Mr Shinde said he is not breaking away from Shiv Sena and he wants to carry forward Sena founder Balasaheb Thackery’s Hindutva ideology. “We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and will not leave it. We believe in Hindutva,” he said.

  3. Eknath Shinde and 21 MLAs had flown from Mumbai to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat on Monday night.

  4. Hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke to the rebel leader for 10 minutes last evening, the MLAs made a post-midnight dash to the airport and flew to another BJP-ruled state, Assam.

  5. On their arrival in Guwahati, the Sena rebels were welcomed by BJP leaders and taken to a five-star hotel where Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had been seen earlier. “Fifty rooms” were prepped, said sources, hinting at more Sena MLAs arriving today.

  6. Uddhav Thackeray had asked Eknath Shinde to reconsider and return to the party. Mr Shinde had demanded that the Sena restore its alliance with the BJP and jointly rule the state, sources said. Reports suggest the Shiv Sena MLAs were moved to Guwahati by the BJP to avoid any more such confrontations.

  7. Uddhav Thackeray has called a Maharashtra cabinet meeting at 1 pm. He is likely to meet with ally Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Kamal Nath before the meeting.

  8. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been admitted to a Mumbai hospital after testing positive for Covid. He said that anyone who wanted to contact him could do so via video conferencing.

  9. The Sena’s massive crisis was reportedly triggered by a reprimand from Mr Thackeray to Mr Shinde on Monday night after Sena MLAs cross-voted for the BJP in key elections. Their action meant that the BJP won five of a total of 10 seats (its own numbers entitled the party to four seats; the cross-voting allowed a bonus seat).

  10. To displace Mr Thackeray and win a vote of confidence – should it come to that – the BJP needs 37 MLAs apart from its own 106. Mr Shinde claims he has enough MLAs with him to enable the coup.

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