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‘Maha’ Political Crisis After Sena Strongman Eknath Shinde’s Rebellion | All That Happened in Last 24 Hours

A massive political crisis has fallen upon the Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA) government of Maharashtra after two successive defeats of candidates of the ruling coalition in Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls and the subsequent rebellion by senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

Back to back political developments since the MLC poll results came out have pushed the Uddhav Thackeray government to the brink and given BJP an edge in Maharashtra with the spotlight on former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Track Maharashtra Political Crisis Live Updates Here

Mee Punha yein’ (I will come back), was Fadnavis’ slogan when he sought a fresh mandate in the assembly elections in 2019.

More than 24 hours, a flurry of huddles, several attempts to defuse tensions later, Sena strongman Eknath Shinde is now in Guwahati with, what he claims, 40 other MLAs with him.

If you’re wondering what just happened in Maharashtra, here’s all you need to know about the political crisis:

How it began: It all began Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde went incommunicado with 25 MLAs a day after the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi lost one out of the six seats it contested in the Legislative Council election.

Shinde in Surat: After suspected cross-voting in favour of opposition BJP in the MLC election, pushing the Thackeray-led MVA government on the line, rebel Sena leaders led by Eknath Shinde on Monday night landed in Gujarat’s Surat, opening doors for multiple possibilities, including a split in Shiv Sena.

Suspected cross-voting: The Maharashtra minister, along with the MLAs, reached the hotel on late Monday night, hours after Legislative Council polls which saw the BJP winning a fifth seat despite not having enough numbers in the Assembly, possibly due to suspected cross-voting from the ruling bloc besides support from Independent MLAs and those from smaller parties.

Flurry of huddles; Uddhav makes attempt to defuse tension: The rebellion by Sena strongman Eknath Shinde saw a flurry of tense huddles of the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition to assuage the situation.  Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray made an attempt to defuse the tension by sending his confidante Milind Narvekar and Shinde’s aide Ravindra Phatak to meet Shinde and the other MLAs at Surat.

-What Pawar said: As tensions grew over the day on Tuesday, veteran politician and Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar — part of Maharashtra’s ruling alliance — said the crisis is “an internal matter of the Sena”. Amid speculation about his own role and whether he may have played a part in the crisis, Pawar also said he remains fully committed to the three-party government.

-Sena Sacks Shinde as legislative party leader: The Shiv Sena then on Tuesday sacked Eknath Shinde as the Legislative Party Leader and replaced him with Ajay Chaudhary, party MLA from Sewri. Around the same time as this happened, Eknath Shinde tweeted that he would never cheat for power. “Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb’s thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb’s teachings,” he said in the tweet.

Nearly an hour after his tweet, he dropped Shiv Sena off his Twitter bio.

-Shinde says not returning to Sena: Eknath Shinde later in the day said he will not return to the party as he is “with Hindutva”. “I am with Hindutva and Shiv Sena has left Hindutva. I will not return to Shiv Sena,” he told party MLA Milind Narvekar, who was dispatched by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to the Surat hotel where Shinde was camping with 25 other MLAs since Monday night.

-BJP MLAs meet Shinde in Surat: Amid all this, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said some MLAs of the BJP will meet Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde at the Surat hotel in their “personal capacity” even as he distanced his party from the ongoing political turmoil. Patil also said if BJP receives any proposal from Eknath Shinde to form a government, they would “definitely consider it”. He admitted that BJP MLA from Maharashtra, Sanjay Kute, had met Shinde.

-Action continues overnight, Shinde flies to Guwahati: The high-voltage political crisis in Maharashtra saw developments taking place throughout the day on Tuesday, while action didn’t stop at night either. Eknath Shinde and the other MLAs left their hotel in Surat and are flew to Guwahati in Assam, in the wee hours of Wednesday.

-I have 40 MLAs, Says Shinde: Eknath Shinde, on landing at Guwahati airport, said he has 40 MLAs with him. Shinde spoke to reporters for the first time since his decision to rebel against his own party.

Shinde, who is said to have decided to shift to Assam after holding talks with BJP leaders, said, “Here 40 MLAs are with me. Additional 10 MLAs will join me soon. I do not want to criticise any one. We are keen on continuing the Sena founded by late Balasaheb Thackeray.”

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