Amid escalating upheavals in the Udhav Takeri-led government of Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) in Maharashtra, reports have surfaced suggesting tensions in the Shiv Sena camp are mounting more than a week ahead of Monday’s Maharashtra Legislative Council elections. Adding insult to the injury, a congressional state minister told the PTI news agency that “missing” urban development minister Eknat Shinde has been following the post of deputy chief minister for a long time.
While Congress and Shiv Sena have ruled out any imminent danger to the alliance, reports suggest more “rebel” lawmakers will join Shinde, who has been trained to camp with his supporters in Gujarat. The MVA failed miserably as it lost tenth place to the BJP opposition in MLC polls amid cross-voting and support from the Independents. The blow comes just a week after the BJP stunned Sanjay Pavar of the Sena in the Raja Sabha elections. After the MLC election, Shinde along with 21 MLAs were left without communication and are believed to be camping in the resort of Surat.
“An earthquake has been raging in Shiv Sena for nearly a week,” the congressional minister told PTI, adding that Shinde wanted to be vice president.
Speaking to reporters today, senior congressional leader Pritviraj Chavan said recent developments were a matter of “concern” for the MVA ruling alliance, while Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil called speculation about regime change “a little premature”.
“We are watching closely. It is a little premature to say that this will lead to any changes. This is a situation of care. We have to see it very carefully. We are monitoring all situations, “Patil told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Shiva Senna MP Sanjay Raut said any attempt to overthrow the government would fail. “Some MLAs of Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde are currently unavailable. “Efforts are being made to overthrow the MVA government, but the BJP must remember that Maharashtra is very different from Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh,” Raut said.