Maharashtra political crisis: Sena rebels float new group as Uddhav camp takes to streets | Story so far

The political crisis in Maharashtra continues to unfold as the rebel camp led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde floated an idea to form a group named ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’ on Saturday, June 23. According to rebel MLA Deepak Vasant Kesarkar, no one from the rebel camp is going to quit Sena or join any other party.

Meanwhile, as rebel MLAs refuse to return to Mumbai, Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly Narhari Zirwal issued show-cause notices to 16 rebel Sena MLAs for not attending a meeting called upon by Sena Party Whip Sunil Prabhu.

Here’s how the crisis has panned out so far:

1) Eknath Shinde along with several other Shiv Sena MLAs went incommunicado on June 21. They holed up in a hotel in Surat, Gujarat, a BJP-ruled state. Following this, Shinde was removed as the party’s legislative group leader in the Maharashtra assembly.

2) In the early hours of June 22, 40 MLAs of the Maharashtra Cabinet with 33 from the Shiv Sena arrived in Guwahati along with Eknath Shinde.

3) Maharashtra Chief Minister amidst speculations that he will resign, said on Wednesday that he is ready to quit if that is what the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs want. Hours after this, Uddhav Thackeray vacated his official residence and moved to his family residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra.

4) The Shinde camp on Saturday announced the decision to float a separate party called ‘Shiv Sena (Balasaheb)’, which will be named after Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

5) In a late night tweet on Saturday, Eknath Shinde said he was fighting to free Shiv Sainiks from the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s clutches.

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, … ..! MVA . …. .#MiShivsainik

— Eknath Shinde – (@mieknathshinde) June 25, 2022

“I am fighting to free Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks from the clutches of MVA’s dragon. This fight is dedicated to the benefit of Shiv Sainiks,” he wrote on Twitter. The rebel MLAs are expected to stay in Guwahati hotel till June 30.

6) The national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, passed a resolution on Saturday to stop Eknath Shinde and rebel MLAs from using party founder Balasaheb Thackeray’s name.

7) Meanwhile, the Shiv Sainiks (party workers) have come out in support of Uddhav Thackeray and vandalised an office of rebel Sena MLA Tanaji Sawant in Pune.

#WATCH | Shiv Sena workers vandalise office of the party’s MLA Tanaji Sawant in Balaji area of Katraj, Pune. Sawant is one of the rebel MLAs from the state and is currently camping in Guwahati, Assam. #MaharashtraPoliticalCrisis pic.twitter.com/LXRSLPxYJC

— ANI (@ANI) June 25, 2022

On Saturday, Eknath Shinde accused the Maharashtra government of withdrawing the security provided to the rebel MLAs. A total of 38 MLAs signed the letter tweeted by Shinde.

WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY

The total strength of the Maharashtra Assembly is 287 and the required majority, in the event of a trust vote in the House, is 144. The ruling coalition of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress has 169 seats. If the MLAs led by Shinde decide to resign, then the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) strength will fall below the majority mark, leading to a possible collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

The Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs and to invoke the anti-defection law, Uddhav Thackeray will need the support of at least 37 MLAs.

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