Maharashtra Political Crisis: As the Uddhav Thackeray-vs-Eknath Shinde war rages on, here are top 5 developments to watch out for today.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (L); Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra’s political crisis is deepening by the hour with the Eknath Shinde camp swelling and Uddhav Thackeray floundering as his Shiv Sena MLAs desert him. The Shiv Sena approached Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly Narhari Zirwal and demanded that the membership of the rebel MLAs who didn’t attend the party meeting on Thursday evening be cancelled. Following this, Shinde wrote to Zirwal asserting his appointment as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party.
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Shinde, hinting at the BJP’s support for him, also said: “One national party which is a superpower has told me that whatever decision you have taken is historic and ensured us [rebel MLAs] that whatever help is needed, will be given.” He is going strong as three more MLAs are likely to join him in Guwahati.
Here’s what we can expect in the high-voltage Maharashtra political drama:
1. Uddhav Thackeray will interact with the Shiv Sena district chiefs later in the day. The meeting would be crucial in view of the Eknath Shinde faction’s plan to stake a claim on the party’s symbol — bow and arrow. Last night, Uddhav instructed the zonal chiefs to visit every party unit and get the workers fighting for the issues of Hindutva and the ‘son-of-the-soil’.
2. All eyes will be on Narhari Zirwal, the Deputy Speaker. Last night, the Uddhav Thackeray group handed him a letter seeking the disqualification of 12 MLAs in the Eknath Shinde camp, including Shinde himself. As a countermove, the Shinde faction elected him as their leader and appointed Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip. They sent a letter in this regard to Zirwal. The letter carried the signatures of 37 MLAs.
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3. Devendra Fadnavis is in Delhi for talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. They are expected to chalk out a strategy to help the Eknath Shinde faction in the legal battle.
4. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will be closely watched in the wake of his uncle and NCP president Sharad Pawar slamming him for announcing that there is no BJP hand behind Eknath Shinde’s coup.
5. Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane is likely to speak on Sharad Pawar’s “threat” to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
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