A week after Shiv Sena was shaken by senior party leader Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday night met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan and urged him to ask CM Uddhav Thackeray to prove majority in the assembly.
Earlier in the day, Fadnavis met BJP chief JP Nadda. This comes as most Sena MLAs are camping in Guwahati after joining Shinde in the rebellion.
Fadnavis on Tuesday said, "We handed over a letter to the Governor citing the present political developments in the state. We requested him to ask the state government to prove majority in the Assembly. We informed Koshyari that Uddhav Thackeray-led government is in minority as 39 MLAs of Shiv Sena want to snap ties with Congress and NCP."
A total of 49 Maharashtra MLAs, including 39 of Sena and 10 Independents, are lodged in a hotel in Guwahati. The withdrawal of support would plunge Uddhav's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government into a minority as it would bring MVA's numbers from 152 to 113, well below the majority-mark of 145 in the 288-member assembly.
The Sena rebel faction's main demand is that the Sena withdraws from the MVA alliance, also comprising of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress.
Earlier on Tuesday, Uddhav made an emotional appeal to rebel MLAs to return to sit with him and find a way to resolve the crisis with talks.
"It is not too late. I appeal to you to return and sit with me and remove the confusion [created by your actions] among Shiv Sainiks and the public," a statement by Uddhav's aide quoted him as saying.
He further said, "If you return and face me, some way could be found. As party president and family head, I still care for you."
These developments came as Shinde on Tuesday said that he would soon go to Mumbai, according to NDTV.
"We are all going to Mumbai. No need to worry about this. We will go to Mumbai soon," Eknath Shinde told reporters in Guwahati.
NDTV added that Shinde also said he would speak to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. It cited sources as saying that Shinde would first go to Delhi. Former Maharashtra CM Fadnavis is also in Delhi at the moment, where he held a meeting with BJP chief Nadda.
Despite the grim situation, the Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Supriya Sule has said that Shinde does not have the majority.
"Shinde only has 50 MLAs from what I have heard, so it can't be said that he has the majority," said Sule, as per India Today.
She added, "Anyone who is speaking against the government is getting ED notices. Such things are not good for the country and the Constitution."
Amid these developments, Uddhav chaired Cabinet meeting for the first time since he stripped rebel ministers of their portfolios.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Maharashtra Home Minister and NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil said no political issues were discussed. He added another Cabinet meeting was likely to take place on Wednesday to discuss pending issues.
(With PTI inputs)