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Maharashtra Crisis Deepens As Uddhav Thackeray Vacates CM Home, Shinde Writes To Governor: Key Developments

Rebel Maharashtra cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, who is camping in Assam's Guwahati city with rebel Sena MLAs, on Wednesday claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents. 

Eknath Shinde vs Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra
Eknath Shinde vs Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra PTI

High drama continues to ensue in Maharashtra after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's late-night exit from his official residence in Mumbai after rebel Shiv Sena leader Shinde claimed to have the support of 40 MLAs. The claim has been refuted by party leader Sanjay Rout who asserted that all was well, an assertion that comes in the backdrop of rebellion by senior Cabinet member Eknath Shinde that has put a question mark on the stability of the state government.

Maharashtra cabinet minister Shinde, who is camping in Assam's Guwahati city with rebel Sena MLAs, on Wednesday claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents. 

On Thursday morning, three more Shiv Sena MLAs left for Guwahati from Mumbai, according to an associate of Shinde. The Shiv Sena currently has 55 MLAs in the Assembly.

Shinde writes to Governor

On Wednesday, Eknath Shinde gave a letter to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's deputy speaker, signed by 35 Sena MLAs, replacing Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena legislature party.

He has maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.

Thackeray vacates CM residence

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night vacated his official residence, hours after reaching out to Shiv Sena dissidents with an emotional appeal and offering to quit, even as rebel leader Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of the "unnatural" ruling alliance MVA, and claimed the support of "enough number" of MLAs.

The CM had moved out of 'Varsha', his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshree, the Thackeray family's private bungalow in suburban Bandra, amid high drama as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde, who is camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP leader Tajinder Singh Bagga filed a complaint against Thackeray for allegedly violating Covid-19 related protocols by meeting his supporters while heading to his personal residence from his official house in the state capital on Wednesday night. Thackeray tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. The 61-year-old CM attended the weekly cabinet meeting virtually. 
'Thackeray will remain CM'

According to reports, Both Congress and NCP, Shiv Sena's alliance partners in the Maharashtra coalition government have urged the paty to come to a compromise by naming Shinde as the Chief Minister. Refuting the claim, however,  Sena's chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Wednesday rejected reports that NCP president Sharad Pawar had asked Thackeray to make Sena rebel leader Shinde the  CM to save the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Raut said Thackeray will remain the CM and the ruling coalition  MVA will prove its majority on the floor of the Assembly if needed.

Raut further added that Thackeray is leaving 'Varsha', the official residence of the CM in South Mumbai, and going back to his private residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra. But he is not resigning from his post, he clarified.

Referring to reports about Shinde being made CM, Raut said that Sharad Pawar did not give any advice to Thackeray and instead said the MVA will fight the political crisis together till the end, Raut said.

Pawar, whose party is the second-largest constituent of the Sena-led MVA, is the chief architect of the governing coalition which assumed office in November 2019. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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