Reaching out to dissident Sena MLAs once again, Maharashtra chief minister Uddav Thackeray urged them to return to Mumbai and hold talks with him, saying it’s not “too late”, but rebel leader Shinde remained unmoved and asserted the legislators backing him are firm on taking forward Hindutva. The fresh conciliatory move came a day after the CM, who is also the Sena president, took away the portfolios of all nine rebel ministers, including Shinde, and against the backdrop of the Supreme Court granting relief to breakaway MLAs.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however ratcheted up the rhetoric against the rebels, warning those who have betrayed the party leadership should not be able to move around freely. Thackeray’s offer to mend fences comes against the backdrop of controversial statements made by some Shiv Sena leaders, especially Raut whose “40 bodies without soul” statement had caused a flutter.
Thackeray said family members of some rebel MLAs camping in Guwahati are in touch with him. “You have been stuck in Guwahati for the last few days. New information is coming out about you every day, and many of you are also in touch. In your heart, you are still with the Shiv Sena,” he said.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai and submitted a letter to him, seeking direction to the MVA government to prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly in view of the rebellion in the Shiv Sena, the lead party in the ruling alliance. Fadnavis, a former CM, claimed the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress ruling coalition seemed to be in a minority as 39 Sena MLAs, who belong to the rebel faction led by cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, have said they do not support the government.
“Therefore, we handed over a letter to the Governor, requesting him to ask the government to prove its majority through a floor test in the House,” the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly told reporters. Citing various Supreme Court judgements, Fadnavis said in the letter that as majority in the House is “supreme” in parliamentary democracy and essential for a government’s existence, he was requesting the Governor to ask the chief minister to prove majority at the earliest.
Before meeting the Governor around 10 pm, Fadnavis called on top BJP leaders, including party president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in New Delhi earlier in the day. According to sources, before the former CM landed at the Raj Bhavan, eight Independent MLAs, who were earlier associated with the Shiv Sena, sent emails from Guwahati — where the rebel group headed by Shinde is camping — seeking floor test at the earliest, claiming the Thackeray government has lost its majority.
With inputs from News18