Slamming the dissident Shiv Sena MLAs for having “monstrous ambitions”, minister Aaditya Thackeray on Sunday said even if all the party legislators turn rebels, victory will always be of the party.Addressing the Sena workers in Mumbai for the second consecutive day, he also said that doors of the state and party are closed for the rebels MLAs.“Contest elections again, we will ensure you are defeated,” the 30-year-old son of Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.Without naming the BJP, he said he felt ashamed that a party, which is in power at the Centre and Assam, have taken the MLAs from another ruling party from a different state and kept them in the north eastern state that is reeling under floods.The rebels were taken to Guwahati as “prisoners”. About 12 to 14 MLAs are still in touch with us, Thackeray said.“When these MLAs come to the state assembly, they should have the guts to see in our eyes and tell us what we have not done for them. The ambitions of these people are monstrous,” the minister for environment and tourism said.Sufficient development funds had been provided to all the legislators, he said, adding that the Shiv Sena has become the voice of the common people.Majority of party MLAs have sided with rebel party minister Eknath Shinde and they are currently camping at Guwahati in Assam, a BJP-ruled state. Shinde and his group have claimed that they are the “real Shiv Sena”. The rebel group said it enjoys a two-thirds majority in the legislature party and will prove its strength in the House. The dissidents have named their group as “Shiv Sena (Balasaheb)”.“There was a lot of respect for Eknath Shinde in Shiv Sena. Only in May he had been asked whether he wants to become the chief minister…I pity him, I am not angry. He could have rebelled in Thane or Mumbai and spelled out his ambitions instead of running away to Surat and then to Guwahati,” Thackeray said.Addressing the party workers on Saturday, Aaditya had given a subtle warning to the party rebels, saying that the road from Mumbai airport to Vidhan Bhavan, the state legislature complex here, goes via Worli.Worli, traditionally a Shiv Sena bastion in Mumbai, is the assembly constituency represented by Aaditya Thackeray.“The road from the airport to the Vidhan Bhavan passes via Worli. It’s good that the rebels left (Shiv Sena). There is no room for traitors in the party,” he had said.Aaditya has started holding meetings with the party workers and office-bearers from Saturday, which is being seen as a move to prevent any erosion of the cadre loyal to the Thackerays.The Mumbai civic polls are expected to be held later this year and the Shiv Sena, which has been ruling Asia’s largest civic body for nearly three decades, is striving to retain its hold over it.The Maharashtra legislature secretariat had on Saturday issued ‘summons’ to 16 of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.
MUMBAI: Amid the ongoing tussle for the control of the Shiv Sena between party president Uddhav Thackeray and dissident Eknath Shinde, party leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday dared the rebels to quit as MLAs and face fresh elections, but also said the doors of the party were open for those who wish to return. He expressed confidence that the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress will survive the current crisis. Majority of Shiv Sena MLAs have sided with Shinde and are currently camping in Guwahati, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the Sena, into a crisis. "My open challenge to the rebels is to resign and seek a fresh mandate from their electorate. In the past, Chhagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane and their supporters had resigned as Sena MLAs to join other parties. Even (Union minister) Jyotiraditya Scindia supporters in Madhya Pradesh had resigned as Congress MLAs (in March 2020)," Raut told reporters here. The Sena rank and file are already on the ground waiting for a signal from the leadership, he said, hinting that the party was ready to take on the rebels. Raut scoffed at Shinde's tweet last night, in which he urged the Sena workers to have faith in him and that he was trying to save the party from the "python clutches" of MVA allies. "Don't know if these people are drugged. They have been in power for two-and-a-half years getting the creamest portfolios as ministers," Raut said. In a veiled warning, Raut said there can be a rebellion within the group of rebels as well. "Once they come back to Mumbai, they will know where exactly the rebellion is. We are against using the name of Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray by their group". Expressing confidence that the MVA will survive the crisis, Raut said, "The rebels claim to have the support of majority of MLAs. So why are they still in Guwahati? Come to Mumbai. I will myself go the airport to welcome them." "I won't be surprised if the rebels attack each other in the Guwahati hotel as they have been forcibly kept there," he claimed. He said the party doors are open for those who wish to come back. "I am in touch with many of them. Let's see if BJP makes Shinde a CM," he said. Referring to the reports of Shinde's secret meetings with BJP leaders, he further said," If you have guts, use your own father's name to get votes or your fathers in Vadodara, Surat, Delhi." He lashed out to at the BJP saying they are sponsoring the rebels when Assam is braving floods causing loss of lives and property. The hotel where the rebels are staying has 340 rooms. It is a 18-storey building and three floors have been booked for the rebels, he said. "I have been sending e-mails to the hotel asking for 40 rooms. I sent an e-mail to Assam chief minister as well who invited Uddhav Thackeray to Assam as a tourist. I wrote to him that we have to hold a programme to boost tourism in Maharashtra and Assam. So we need booking in the hotel. But I haven't received a reply yet," the Sena MP quipped. Meanwhile, in his weekly column 'Rokhthok' published in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' on Sunday, Raut criticised Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, saying that if he was indeed behind the party legislators' rebellion, then has taken a wrong step. "The hunger of these rebels is huge. If Fadnavis plans to come back to power by encouraging them, then that dispensation will not last. Once again Fadnavis has taken a wrong decision. How will these rebels stay with Fadnavis, when they have left their own mother," Raut wrote. Shinde had a good chance of becoming a chief minister had he continued in Shiv Sena. Shinde would have been the chief minister if the BJP hadn't gone back on its word of rotational chief minister post, Raut said, adding, "It is surprising that shinde wants to go to BJP." The executive editor of 'Saamana' also wrote that rebel MLAs Pratap Sarnaik, Yamini Jadhav, Lata Sonawane and others have cases of money laundering and caste validity registered against them. "One of the rebel MLAs said he was free after the ED cases against him were cleared that he would do whatever BJP says," Raut said. Raut wondered why some rebel MLAs first went to Surat before flying to Guwahati, when the first batch had already reached Assam. "This is a case of research. If the rebellion is Shiv Sena's internal matter, why are the rebels kept in tight security at Surat and Guwahati," he asked. Earlier in the day, Raut posted a tweet targeted at the MLAs, in which he said, "How long will you hide in Guwahati, you will have to come to chowpatty," the Sena MP tweeted in Hindi along with a photo of the state Assembly's Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal looking into the distance. Key government establishments, including the Mantralaya (state secretariat), Vidhan Bhavan (legislature complex), Raj Bhavan and the chief minister's official bungalow 'Varsha' are located in the vicinity of the Girgaum beach, which is also known the Girgaum chowpatty, in south Mumbai. The Maharashtra legislature secretariat had on Saturday issued 'summons' to 16 of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, including Shinde, seeking written replies by the evening of June 27 to the complaints seeking their disqualification.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took out a two-wheeler rally in Mumbai.Mumbai: Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra following a rebellion by senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and others, the loyalists of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took out a two-wheeler rally in Mumbai and held protests in parts of Pune against the dissident leaders on Sunday.Sena workers and its local functionaries, led by the Pune city unit president Gajanan Tharkude, staged 'jode maro' (hit with footwear) protests at two places - outside Balgandharva auditorium and in Kothrud - and raised slogans against the rebels.On Saturday, Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said Shiv Sena workers should understand that he was fighting to save the party from the clutches of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).Mr Shinde's appeal came after Sena workers loyal to party president and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray staged protests against the rebel MLAs led by him by defacing their banners, hurling stones in some places and vandalising the office of an MLA in Pune.Here are the LIVE updates on the Maharashtra Crisis:Get NDTV UpdatesTurn on notifications to receive alerts as this story develops.Jun 26, 2022 15:28 (IST) Shiv Sena's doors are open for those who want to leave and those who want to return to the party. Those rebel MLAs who are traitors will not be taken back into the party, says Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray: news agency ANIJun 26, 2022 15:25 (IST)Maharashtra crisis: Shiv Sena workers stage protest in JammuA group of Shiv Sena activists on Sunday staged a protest here against the prevailing political crisis in Maharashtra and demanded a high-level probe against the BJP for its alleged role in "horse-trading" to pull down Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government.The shiv sainiks staged the protest outside party headquarters at Channi on the outskirts of the city and also burnt an effigy of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde who, along with other party MLAs and independents, is currently camping at a hotel in BJP-ruled Assam."We cannot imagine Shiv Sena without the Thackeray family and those who have rebelled against the leadership are traitors who are working at the behest of a national party which is desperate to come to power in Maharashtra," J-K Shiv Sena president Manish Sahni told reporters.Jun 26, 2022 14:59 (IST)Shiv Sena workers hold a protest against rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as well as other rebel MLAs in Nagpur.#MaharashtraCrisis | Shiv Sena workers hold a protest against rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as well as other rebel MLAs in Nagpur.(ANI) pic.twitter.com/IdqiH9dBic- NDTV (@ndtv) June 26, 2022Jun 26, 2022 14:29 (IST)#MaharashtraPolitcalCrisis | "There are floods in the state (Assam) but money is being spent just for their (rebel MLAs) stay": Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray pic.twitter.com/b9oyFI72S9- NDTV (@ndtv) June 26, 2022Jun 26, 2022 14:07 (IST)Eknath Shinde's supporters blacken posters of Uddhav Thackeray in ThaneAmid rising political turmoil in Maharashtra, supporters of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde blackened posters of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Thane on Sunday.On the other hand, Shiv Sena workers held 'joote maro andolan' against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs in Pune, Maharashtra.Jun 26, 2022 13:39 (IST)Shiv Sena workers protest against party rebels; say 'traitors' won't be forgivenAmid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra following a rebellion by senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and others, the loyalists of party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took out a two-wheeler rally in Mumbai and held protests in parts of Pune against the dissident leaders on Sunday.Sena workers and its local functionaries, led by the Pune city unit president Gajanan Tharkude, staged 'jode maro' (hit with footwear) protests at two places - outside Balgandharva auditorium and in Kothrud - and raised slogans against the rebels.Jun 26, 2022 13:21 (IST) Meeting of Eknath Shinde faction begins in a Guwahati hotel to discuss further strategies and legal aspects. Another important meeting could be held later todayJun 26, 2022 12:27 (IST)Centre grants Y-plus CRPF cover to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAsThe Centre on Sunday extended Y-plus security cover of CRPF commandos to at least 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, officials said.Those who were provided the security cover include Ramesh Bornare, Mangesh Kudalkar, Sanjay Shirsat, Latabai Sonawane, Prakas Surve and 10 others.Their families living in Maharashtra too will be secured as the security blanket entails house protection teams, they said.Jun 26, 2022 12:25 (IST)20 Rebel MLAs In Touch With Uddhav Thackeray: SourcesAt least 20 MLAs camping with rebel leader Eknath Shinde are reportedly in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sources have told NDTV. NDTV has also learnt that some of the rebels are against with the group merging with the BJP.Jun 26, 2022 12:00 (IST) Shiv Sena workers hold bike rally to protest against the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs outside the Saamana office in MumbaiJun 26, 2022 11:42 (IST)If You Have The Guts...: Aaditya Thackeray's Open Challenge To Rebels Amid Maharashtra CrisisMaharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray has dared the Shiv Sena rebels, led by minister Eknath Shinde, to quit the party and face elections, amid a worsening political crisis in the state.Jun 26, 2022 11:05 (IST)Eknath Shinde calls meeting of rebel Sena MLAs today in GuwahatiAmid the political crisis in Maharashtra, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has called a meeting of MLAs camping with him at a hotel in Assam's Guwahati on Sunday to discuss the strategy ahead.The political turbulence in Maharashtra was triggered by the faction war in Shiv Sena after Minister Eknath Shinde flew to Surat with some MLAs and then to Guwahati where he claims of having the support of 38 MLAs of the 55 Shiv Sena legislators, which is more than two-thirds of the party's strength in the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. It means that they can either leave and form another political party or merge with another without being disqualified from the state assembly.Jun 26, 2022 10:10 (IST)Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been discharged from the hospital after recovery from Covid-19. officials said todayJun 26, 2022 09:36 (IST)Maharashtra Crisis: How Long Will You Hide?: Sena's Sanjay Raut Sends A Message With Maharashtra Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal's PicSanjay Raut, the chief spokesperson of Shiv Sena, which is battling a rebellion led by senior leader Eknath Shinde, today took a swipe at the rebel leaders camping in BJP-ruled Assam.Jun 26, 2022 09:33 (IST)Team Thackeray's Dare After Rebel Eknath Shinde's Late Night MeetingShiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde met BJP's Devendra Fadnavis in Gujarat last night to discuss possible government formation in Maharashtra, sources have said. Team Thackeray, meanwhile, said it will "not forget the betrayal" done by the rebels.
Maharashtra deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal issued disqualification notices to 16 rebel Shiv Sena members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) holed up in Guwahati, including their leader and minister Eknath Shinde, for not obeying the party whip. The division within the Shiv Sena has put in doubt the survival of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition headed by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. The turmoil sparked further violence in the state with Shiv Sena workers attacking properties associated with the rebels. As a precautionary measure, police in Mumbai imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) until July 10."Following the disqualification request made with the deputy speaker, summons have been issued against you under the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986," said the notice to the MLAs. "You can file a written reply in your defence, by June 27 till 5:30 pm along with relevant documents that you feel are necessary for reference." The summons was issued by Rajendra Bhagwat, principal secretary, Maharashtra legislature, on behalf of the deputy speaker.The Shinde group has indicated it will challenge in court the deputy speaker's decision to send them notices. Zirwal is said to have rejected the rebels' notice seeking his removal, saying that it did not follow procedure. Legislative assembly officials were not available to confirm this. The rebel MLAs had said that since a motion for removal has been moved against Zirwal, he cannot decide on the disqualification of MLAs. The rebellion became public earlier this week after the rebels were taken to Surat and went on to Guwahati.Chief minister Thackeray said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was seeking to destroy the Shiv Sena at a national executive meeting on Saturday. The party passed six resolutions, which included authorising Thackeray to take action against the rebels. It also said no one would be allowed to use the name of the party or founder Bal Thackeray to form a new group. This came after the rebels decided to name their faction Shiv Sena (Balasaheb)."The executive decided that Shiv Sena belongs to Bal Thackeray and is committed to taking forward his fierce ideology of Hindutva and Marathi pride," party spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said. "It passed a resolution, giving all powers to take action against those who have betrayed the party to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray." Following the violence, Shinde said the MVA government had withdrawn police security for the families of the rebel MLAs. Mumbai police deployed personnel at the city-based offices of various political parties and leaders, including ministers, MLAs and MPs, and their residences, as a security measure, an official said on Saturday.Deepak Kesarkar, a spokesperson of the rebel group, said it has a two-thirds majority and hence Shinde remains the leader of the Sena legislature group.
With the state plunged into a political crisis after a rebellion in the Shiv Sena, the Mumbai police on Saturday imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning unlawful assembly in the city and beefed up security at the residences and offices of all ministers, elected representatives and party leaders. The prohibitory order was issued on June 4 and reiterated by the police now in the wake of the political situation in the state.On high alert after a few incidents of violence where Shiv Sena workers attacked the offices of some rebel party MLAs, the Mumbai police said on Saturday that assembly of more than five people anywhere on the streets will not be allowed, with exceptions like weddings, funerals, cinema halls and other social gatherings outside courts, companies and educational institutions. Further, no controversial banners or posters will be allowed to be put up as it could provoke sentiments, leading to law and order issues in Mumbai.The Mumbai Police issued a press note stating that on Friday, Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey held a meeting of top police officials and asked them to beef up security.In a related development, the Nehru Nagar police took local Shiv Sena leader Dilip More and 19 of his Sena workers from Kurla (East) into custody for damaging a board outside the party office of rebel MLA Mangesh Kudalkar on Friday afternoon.
Mumbai: Amid the reports of Shiv Sainiks allegedly ransacking the offices of rebel legislators, Mumbai Police on Saturday imposed section 144 of CrPC in the city.Mumbai Police issued a high alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at all political offices in the city. It has been directed that officer-level Police personnel shall visit every political office to ensure their safety.Shiv Sena workers protested against rebel MLAs of the party and burnt effigies outside the party office in Kharghar.Shiv Sena workers ransacked the office of rebel party MLA Tanaji Sawant in Pune on Saturday. Sawant is one of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction and is currently camping in Guwahati, Assam."Our party workers vandalised Tanaji Sawant's office. All traitors and rebel MLAs who have troubled our chief Uddhav Thackeray will face this type of action. Their office will also be attacked. No one will be spared," said Sanjay More, Shiv Sena Pune city head.Following this, Pune Police issued an alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at offices related to Shiv Sena leaders in the city.Meanwhile, rebel Shiv Sena leader and state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the alleged 'malicious' withdrawal of security of family members of the 38 MLAs camping with him in a Guwahati hotel.In his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, Shinde claimed that the security provided to the MLAs at their residence as well as to their family members as per the protocol has been illegally and unlawfully withdrawn, as an act of revenge.However, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil refuted Shinde's claim of withdrawal of security."Neither the Chief Minister nor the Home Department has ordered the withdrawal of security of any MLA. The allegations being levelled through Twitter are false and completely baseless. No MLA's security has been withdrawn. Keeping in view the prevailing situation, the Home Department has decided to provide security at the residence of MLAs to keep their families safe," said Mr Patil.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde along with 38 party MLAs and nine independent MLAs are campaigning at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam from June 22.Notably, the Eknath Shinde faction, earlier on Friday, gave notice of a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narhari Jhirwal, after the Uddhav Thackeray faction submitted a plea before the deputy speaker to disqualify the rebel MLAs.
NAGPUR: Amid the rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and incidents being reported of offices of some rebel MLAs being attacked and damaged, Independent Lok Sabha MP from Amravati Navneet Rana on Saturday sough President's Rule in the state. Shinde and a sizable number of MLAs raised the banner of revolt against Thackeray on June 21, with the rebel group's main demand being that the Sena withdraw from the ruling MVA, which comprises the NCP and Congress. In a video message, Rana said, "I want to request (Union) Home minister Amit Shah to secure the families of all the MLAs who have gone to the original Shiv Sena group, which is the one led by Eknath Shinde." "President's Rule must be imposed in Maharashtra so that the hooliganism of Uddhav Thackeray is stopped and people of Maharashtra are protected from it," she said. Rane and her MLA husband Ravi Rana are bitter critics of Thackeray and had, in April, announced that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa in front of Matoshree, the Sena chief's private home in Mumbai's Bandra. The couple was arrested on April 23 and released on bail in early May.
JALNA (MAHARASHTRA): Union minister Raosaheb Danve on Sunday said the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, racked by rebellion in main constituent Shiv Sena, will last "two to three days". Speaking at the inaugural function of an agriculture department building here in the presence of state NCP minister Rajesh Tope, the BJP leader said the MVA should complete remaining development works at the earliest as "we (BJP) will be in opposition only for two to three days". "Time is running out. This government will last for two to three days. The BJP has nothing to do with this rebellion. Shiv Sena rebels have resentment towards Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray as development funds were diverted by NCP and Congress," the Union Minister of State for Railway, Coal and Mines said. Queried on the possibility of the Eknath Shinde-led group merging with the BJP, Danve, himself a former state unit chief, said there was no such proposal and if one comes then the senior leadership would take a call. He also said there was no chance of President's Rule being imposed in the state.
THANE: Addressing a large crowd for the first time since the rebellion by father Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, MP Shrikant Shinde, warned the Shiv Sainiks against resorting to vandalism and said remaining silent does not mean their hands are tied. Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena party workers had ransacked the Ulhasnagar office of Shrikant, MP from the Kalyan constituency. This is said to be the first time that any Shiv Sena office has been attacked in the Thane district where Shindes have a stronghold. Read AlsoMaharashtra crisis: Office of Eknath Shinde's Lok Sabha MP son Shrikant vandalised in UlhasnagarAfter factionalism by Eknath Shinde in Shiv Sena, Shiv Sainiks are attacking the offices and posters of Shinde-supported MLAs across Maharashtra.On learning of the incident, police rushed to the spot. In front of the police, too, some party workers continued to pelt stones at Shrikant’s office. Police detained all of them. After the incident, Shindes’ supporters arrived at the spot and replaced the broken board outside the office with a new one. Meanwhile, police security had been deployed outside Shindes’ Louise Wadi residence following his father’s rebellion earlier last week. According to the police, around 1,500 people had gathered outside their residence on Saturday afternoon. Many in the crowd held placards in support of Eknath Shinde. “My father reached out to the grassroots level for the party to grow,” said Shinde, who along with Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske stood on a car and addressed a gathering. Shrikant lashed out at the Sena leadership and said grassroots Sainiks and Sena MLAs have suffered at the hands of the NCP. He alleged that NCP ministers put a spoke in the works of the Sena MLAs in the state. Sena leaders had to answer to the citizens who complained that their work was not being attended to, despite the fact that the Sena was in power in the state. Shrikant said he had pointed this out on several occasions to the Sena leadership and the chief minister but in vain. Shrikant said at every stage and every emergency and even during the pandemic, his father never remained indoors but came out in the open and attended to citizens. “Our doors were open to everyone round-the-clock and we are here to serve you. I remember he went to meet a party worker who was seriously ill in hospital at Kalyan wearing a PPE kit. That time he did not think of himself,” said Shrikant. Mhaske while addressing the crowd said NCP had tried to forge an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming municipal elections in MMR which was flatly rejected by Eknath Shinde.
Proyanka Chaturvedi said she got some threatening calls over the past couple of days.(FILE)Mumbai: Amid the tussle for supremacy in the ruling Shiv Sena between the groups led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and rebel MLA Eknath Shinde, party Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Saturday said she had received some threatening calls over the past couple of days.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comShe said she had met Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey over the "threat and abusive calls"."Met Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey @sanjayp_1 ji with regards to threat and abusive calls I have been receiving since yesterday through VoIP calls, over the developing political situation in the state." "Thank him for his time and hope to find out who these cowards are,” she said.Met @sanjayp_1 ji with regards to threat & abusive calls I have been receiving since yesterday through VoIP calls, over the developing political situation in the state. Thank him for his time and hope to find out who these cowards are. @MumbaiPolice— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) June 25, 2022(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
For the last four days, a hotel in Guwahati has been at the centre of India’s biggest political story. It is where the majority of MLAs from Maharashtra–rebels against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray–have been sequestered against the turmoil in Mumbai.The leader of the revolt, Maharashtra Urban Development and PWD Minister Eknath Shinde, claimed on Friday (June 24) that 50 MLAs are with him, including 40 from Thackeray’s Shiv Sena. Before flying to Assam with his flock on June 22, Shinde and a large number of these MLAs spent two nights in Surat, Gujarat, which, like Assam, is run by the BJP.While the current situation is extraordinary in several ways—Thackeray, for example, looks in danger of having almost his entire party stolen from under his nose—’resort politics’ is neither new nor unique to any party or state in India. At least since the 1980s, as coalition governments became the norm, examples of resort politics have been seen again and again. It is usually practised when MLAs need to be cornered by a party that is seeking to prove its majority in the legislative assembly, and it is feared that MLAs might be entering into behind-the-scenes negotiations with rival parties or groups.This often happens when there are leadership struggles in a party or state, and when the numbers in the House do not strongly favour any party in particular.But resort politics is not restricted to states alone. At the beginning of this month, as Rajya Sabha elections were held, 70 Congress MLAs in Rajasthan were lodged at a resort in Udaipur, presumably to keep them safe from poaching attempts. Ultimately, the Congress emerged victorious in three out of four seats in Rajasthan, and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hailed it as a “victory of democracy”.Here is a short history of resort politics in India through the years, which has yielded mixed results for the parties concerned.Among the results of the five states’ elections, Goa and Uttarakhand saw a tighter contest. The Congress moved its leaders to a resort in north Goa ahead of the results, saying the leaders were attending “a series of birthday celebrations”. However, the BJP ended up winning 20 of 40 seats in the state and comfortably formed its government again. Back in 2017, the BJP had emerged victorious after a similar neck-and-neck fight, as multiple MLAs from the Congress–the single-largest party then–crossed over to the BJP.On the heels of a similar rebellion by then Congress MLA Jyotiraditya Scindia that led to the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government four months prior, deputy CM Sachin Pilot showed signs of discontent. The Congress then gathered its MLAs at the Fairmont Hotel in the state to prevent them from defecting. The MLAs favouring Pilot were themselves in Delhi—and they subsequently moved to a resort in a BJP-ruled state.At the end of the episode, there was no change in power, and Gehlot remained the Chief Minister while Pilot was demoted from the post of Deputy Chief Minister.Congress MLAs reached the Prestige Golf Club in BJP-ruled Bengaluru, and this was triggered by Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the party. The Congress’s attempts to hold the Kamal Nath government together ended in failure, and Shivraj Singh Chauhan became Chief Minister for the fourth time with the support of those MLAs. Scindia joined the BJP, was later elected to the Rajya Sabha as an MP, and is now the Union Minister for Civil Aviation—a position that had once belonged to his late father.Interestingly, the ongoing Shiv Sena crisis has similarities with the events that led to the formation of its government in the first place. Long-time BJP ally Shiv Sena broke away and joined hands with the Congress-NCP alliance to form the government. On the eve of the Supreme Court’s decision on the parties’ petition seeking a floor test in the Assembly, a large group of Shiv-Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs assembled at a Mumbai hotel in a show of strength, indicating they had the numbers to form the government.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxNitish Kumar was invited by the Speaker to form the government, despite him not having the numbers. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD emerged as the largest party, but Kumar was called on by the Governor to form the government. The Congress and RJD, opposition parties who perhaps sensed what was to come, sent some of their members to a hotel in Patna. Kumar resigned before the trust vote took place, and ultimately RJD’s Rabri Devi became the first woman CM of Bihar.In 1984, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, the state finance minister, toppled Chief Minister NTR’s government with Congress support. The film superstar-turned-politician Chief Minister was out of the country, and the governor installed Bhaskara Rao as the CM. From the United States, where he had gone for heart surgery, NTR secured around 160 MLAs by keeping them at his studios with ample facilities. NTR’s films were screened for the MLAs’ entertainment. In the end, the Bhaskara Rao government fell, and NTR was back in power.In 1995, NTR’s son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu wanted to oust NTR from the party and sent NTR loyalists to the Viceroy Hotel in Hyderabad to take over the TDP. One of those MLAs later recalled playing cards, dancing to Telugu songs, ordering food and keeping the hotel staff awake all night. Naidu eventually became the CM.Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde, who was earlier a part of the Congress party, sought to protect his government from being dissolved by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. His wins in the 1983 and 1985 Assembly elections in the state had alarmed his rivals in the Janata Party in the state. Close to the Assembly trust vote, 80 MLAs were sent to a luxury resort near Bengaluru to reduce the chances of their defection.
THANE: A video that went viral on social media on Saturday showed some people damaging the board outside the office of Shrikant Shinde, Lok Sabha MP from Kalyan in Thane district and son of Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde. It showed some people throwing stones at the Ulhasnagar office of Shrikant Shinde and they can also be heard raising pro-Uddhav Thackeray slogans. Stone pelting by Shiv Sainiks at Kalyan Lok Sabha MP Dr Shrikant Shinde's office in Ulhasnagar. Shrikant Shinde is… https://t.co/3yXMLfCBOq— Pradeep Gupta (@pradeepjourno) 1656149387000In the video, four policemen can be seen chasing away the group, comprising eight to ten people. Police are at the site and a probe was on, officials said.
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde are currently camping at a hotel in Assam.Mumbai: Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by a rebellion by a large section of Shiv Sena MLAs, who are currently camping in Assam, Sharad Pawar's party NCP today sought to know who was paying the bills of hotels in Guwahati and Surat.The NCP, which shares power with Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra, also asked the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate to find out the source of "black money" involved.NCP's chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase asked, "Who is paying the bills of hotels in Surat and Guwahati as well as the chartered flight? Is it true that the horsetrading rate is Rs 50 crore?" "If ED and IT get activated, the source of the black money will be exposed," he added.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMajority of Shiv Sena MLAs have shifted their loyalty to minister Eknath Shinde and are camping in Guwahati, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the Sena, into a crisis. Before a hotel in Guwahati became the base of the rebel MLAs, Shinde and several other legislators had also stayed at a hotel in Surat. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Mumbai: At least 20 MLAs camping with rebel leader Eknath Shinde are reportedly in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sources have said. NDTV has also learnt that some of the rebels are against a merger with the BJP. The Shiv Sena is planning to take action against Eknath Shinde and other rebel ministers. According to sources, ministers Eknath Shinde, Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse are likely to lose their portfolios. Abdul Sattar and Shamburaje Desai - both Minister of State - are also likely to face action.Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Thackeray has dismissed Mr Shinde's assertion that he will stake claim for the party symbol. In an open challenge to rebels, Aaditya Thackeray asked them to "defect and fight" the elections. "If you have guts, leave Shiv Sena - defect and fight. If you think what we have done is wrong, Uddhav (Thackeray) ji's leadership is wrong and we all are wrong, then resign and face elections. We are ready," he said.Differences have also appeared within the Eknath Shinde camp over plans to merge the group with the BJP. Mr Shinde also has the option of merging with Prahar Janshakti Party, whose chief, Maharashtra Minister Bachchu Kadu, is already camping with the rebels in Guwahati.The centre has increased security cover to 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs after cadres loyal to the Thackerays staged protests vandalised the offices of some of the rebel MLAs in various parts of the state.This morning, Sena's spokesperson Sanjay Raut took a swipe at the rebels, camping in BJP-ruled Assam. "How long will you hide in Guwahati," he asked in his tweet which included image of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who has served notices to 16 rebel MLAs on the Sena disqualification plea.Eknath Shinde flew to Vadodara on a special flight last night from Assam's Guwahati where he is camping with nearly 40 rebel MLAs. Home Minister Amit Shah was also in Vadodara last night, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.After talks with Mr Fadnavis, Mr Shinde returned to the main city in BJP-ruled Assam. Mr Shinde and the rebels want to ally with their former partner, BJP, which they claim is a "natural ally" of the Sena. "We are traditionally the rivals of NCP and Congress, they are our primary challengers in constituencies. We requested CM Uddhav Thackeray that natural alliance should be done," said rebel MLA Chimanrao Patil in a video tweeted by Eknath Shinde.The rebels have said that they are still with the Shiv Sena and claim that they have a two-thirds majority. Rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar further demanded recognition of their group 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb' and warned of going to court if it is not done and denied the role of the BJP behind their revolt.The Shiv Sena passed six resolutions at the National Executive meeting chaired by Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday. At the meeting at Sena Bhavan, Mr Thackeray was authorised to take action against the rebels. His side has also challenged a move by the rebels to call themselves "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" in a letter to the Election Commission.The ongoing battle for the control of the Shiv Sena between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde played out on the streets of Maharashtra on Saturday with the cadres loyal to the Thackerays staging protests against the rebels by defacing their banners, throwing stones, and vandalising the office of an MLA in various parts of the state. Comments
Maharashtra political crisis: Around 10-15 MLAs are reportedly with Uddhav Thackeray.Mumbai: Sena leader Eknath Shinde, leading a revolt against his boss Uddhav Thackeray, is likely to form new party named "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray", sources have told NDTV. Mr Shinde reportedly has the backing of more than 50 MLAs, 40 of them from Sena. Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:In a setback for the rebel MLAs, Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker rejected the no-confidence motion moved by Eknath Shinde camp against him. Though 33 rebel MLAs had signed the non-confidence motion, none of the MLAs submitted it to the Deputy Speaker's office, choosing instead to send it through an anonymous email id, sources said.Another reason for the rejection of the motion, the sources said, was that it was sent on Shiv Sena letterhead. As per the assembly records, Shiv Sena Legislature Party Leader is Ajay Choudhari and not Eknath Shinde, sources added.The Deputy Speaker has also issued notices to the 16 rebel MLAs on the disqualification plea by Team Uddhav. The rebel MLAs have been asked to appear in person or through their counsel on Monday to respond to the disqualification plea, sources told NDTV.Uddhav Thackeray is chairing a national executive meeting in Shiv Sena Bhavan. The Uddhav camp has challenged move by the rebels to call themselves "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" in letter to Election Commission.Shiv Sena workers today ransacked the office of rebel party MLA Tanaji Sawant in Pune. Following this, Pune Police issued an alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at offices related to Shiv Sena leaders in the city. Large gatherings have also been banned in Mumbai."The Sena is not finished" and that people siding with the BJP must be questioned, Mr Thackeray said. "Those who want to leave are free to go openly.... I will create a new Shiv Sena," Mr Thackeray had said during a party meeting on Friday.This morning, Mr Shinde tweeted to say that the state government has withdrawn security cover provided at the residences of 16 rebel legislators, including himself, and dubbed the action as "political vendetta". The charges, however, were denied by Sanjay Raut, Sena's chief spokesperson.Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Uddhav is confident that it will in the event of a trust vote. The party also said that the claims by the Eknath Shinde camp that is "the real Shiv Sena" has no merit. "The Shiv Sena is a registered regional party and Uddhav Thackeray is our chief. We have a Consitution through which party president is selected," Advocate Dharam Mishra from Shiv Sena legal cell told NDTV.Mr Shinde, at the centre of rebellion against Mr Thackeray, has told NDTV that he has the support of more than 50 MLAs. "Nearly 40 of them are from the Shiv Sena," he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.The rebels are camping at a five-star hotel on the outskirts of Assam's main city, Guwahati. A young MP, known to be close to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is the pointsman, sources said, adding at least three Assam BJP ministers are closely overseeing logistical matters at the Guwahati hotel. Comments
"People are extremely happy with the government," Himanta Biswa Sarma said.Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, accused of aiding a coup against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray by hosting rebel Shiv Sena MLAs in Guwahati, today once again brushed off the allegations, saying that his "priority" were the people of Assam."People in Assam know my priority. People are extremely happy with the government. People monitoring the situation know that I am on the field 24 hours," Mr Sarma told NDTV from Silsar where he went to oversee relief work."This is my second visit to Silchar. Our priority is to restore electricity. I think Barak river is also swelling. Unless there is no fresh rain, I am hopeful in next 24 hours situation will be much better for the people of Silchar," he said.The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Sunday with over 40 lakh people affected in 34 districts of the state. Silchar in Cachar district is among the worst-affected areas.As many as 2.33 lakh have taken shelter in 637 relief camps of the northeastern state, which had been battling floods and landslides for the past two weeks.Despite the devastating floods, nearly 40 rebel MLAs from Uddhav Thackeray's party have been camping at a five-star hotel in Guwahati.Though the BJP has denied the accusation of engineering an "Operation Lotus", a young MP, known to be close to Mr Sarma, is reported to be in touch with the rebels, sources told NDTV.At least three Assam BJP ministers are also closely overseeing logistical matters at the Guwahati hotel, they added.Earlier, when asked about the MLAs, Mr Sarma has said that he was "happy" as the MLAs were helping promote tourism in Assam.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"Some people have come to Assam. They booked hotels. I am happy for that. You also come; it will help Assam's economy. Through this, Assam's tourism is also getting promoted," he said."Should I shut down Guwahati's hotels because there is flood in some part of the state. We are providing relief to the flood affected people. How can I shut the hotels in Guwahati. If tomorrow, you decide to come and stay in a hotel in Guwahati for 10 days, as a CM, should I say that you should not come," he added.
Aaditya Thackeray had earlier termed the Maharashtra crisis as a battle between truth and lies.Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray has dared the Shiv Sena rebels, led by minister Eknath Shinde, to quit the party and face elections, amid a worsening political crisis in the state.He asked the rebels to "defect and fight", in an open challenge to the MLAs camping in BJP-ruled Assam as the revolt against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray continued for almost a week."If you have guts, leave Shiv Sena - defect and fight. If you think what we have done is wrong, Uddhav (Thackeray) ji's leadership is wrong and we all are wrong, then resign and face elections. We are ready," he said."You see the people standing here - they will not be able to campaign here in Maharashtra," said Mr Thackeray, addressing supporters in Mumbai yesterday.He had earlier termed the crisis as a battle between truth and lies. "We will not forget the betrayal done by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. We (Shiv Sena) will win for sure," he said.The Maha Vikas Aghadi government is on the brink of collapse with Mr Shinde, a heavyweight from Maharashtra's Thane district, claiming the support of nearly 40 Sena MLAs.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe rebel faction had termed Sena's alliance with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress "unnatural", and demanded that the party, founded by Balasaheb Thackeray, restore its alliance with the BJP.The Sena has so far sought the disqualification of 16 of its rebel MLAs, including Mr Shinde, and notices have been served to them.
The political situation in Maharashtra is in a state of flux. One of the seniormost Shiv Sena leaders and Thane strongman, Eknath Shinde, has defied the party leadership, exposing the vulnerabilities of Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership. If Shinde is a Sainik in the old mould of aggressive, street politics, the rebel camp accuses Thackeray of being a weak administrator, inaccessible to his party legislators except through go-betweens, unable to stand up to allies NCP and Congress, biased towards his son Aaditya, and defensive over the party’s core stand of Hindutva.How then does one understand this situation?The Shiv Sena has always been an issue-based, reactionary congregation. It adopts issues and works on them till these are used up and moves on to the next. The first instalment of its politics was about the rights of Marathis against Gujaratis and then South Indians. It moved towards Hindu nationalism gradually, thus sustaining its relevance.The Hindutva brand that Uddhav espouses now is, in a sense, that of his grandfather Keshav Thackeray. Hindutva for the Thackeray patriarch meant self-rule and a strike against Brahmin priesthood. Keshav was known for his staunch anti-Brahmin, lower-caste politics, partly owing to the subordination of his caste group in the varna hierarchy, as a group that worked as scribes or pen smiths and accountants. Uddhav too has lately been calling out the Brahmin in the room, by hinting at the damage caused by the RSS’s Brahminism.Keshav’s participation in the Satya Shodak movement with roots in the rural base of the Shudras and Dalits also helped Bal Thackeray at the start by giving him a ready base. The core constituency of the Sena was at the time the poor, migrant, working-class population of western Maharashtra in Mumbai. After the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, it started making inroads among others.While caste-less politics helped the Sena, it has also been pushed into a corner on the matter. One of its most powerful OBC leaders, Chhagan Bhujbal, left the party over its stand on the Mandal agitation for OBC quota.The Shiv Sena is also known for its organisational capacity. Its network runs from gullies to the heart of the city. However, this does not translate into an ability to govern the state as a mature party. Girish Kuber, the editor of Loksatta, rightly commented in his column forThe Indian Express that the Sena is more a loose, unorganised social body instead of a responsible, statutory political party.The cadres do not see themselves as capable of self-governance; this is after being in power twice. More than social action, they are trained in street-level instant justice, building them popularity at the ground level. However, as the leaders go up, they find politics must move beyond.Then, part of the reason the Shiv Sena was able to spread beyond the Mumbai region was the hope it offered, even if accidentally, to Marathas insecure about the rise of a Dalit rights movement. The firebrand Dalit Panthers is believed to have inspired, in part, the aggressive tactics of the Sena. Even the symbolism of Dalit Panthers was tapped into by the Sena, by choosing tiger as its symbol, against the leaping panther of the Dalit outfit.If the above have been both a boon and a bane, another drawback has been the gradual transformation of the Sena into the kind of party (read the Congress) that once Bal Thackeray bitterly criticised. While he himself rose to the status of a demi-god, somewhat in the mould of the Gandhis, the reins of the party have moved on to first his son and grandson.The rest of the Sena leadership too resembles other parties — most of them are Brahmins, alongside Marathas, with some backward caste names. Though the party has a base in the backward castes of the non-Mumbai region, its leaders are mostly of dominant castes from Mumbai.The difference is more pronounced since Uddhav allowed Aaditya a freer hand as he himself battled several ailments. An important piece of the puzzle is Uddhav’s wife Rashmi. She remains an invisible hand in Thackeray politics.So will Uddhav’s Hindutva inherited from Keshav survive the onslaught of Modi’s Hindutva drawn from Savarkar?Yengde, the author of Caste Matters, curates the fortnightly ‘Dalitality’ column
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday said the present turmoil in the party, triggered by senior leader Eknath Shinde's rebellion, is the battle between "truth and lie". Speaking to reporters after attending the Shiv Sena national executive," Aaditya said, "We will win and the truth will prevail. This is a battle between truth and lies." Aaditya, son of Sena president and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, held a meeting with Sena workers from south Mumbai to rally the party cadre. Elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), controlled by Shiv Sena, are expected to be held later this year. The Mumbai civic polls are crucial for the Sena which considers Mumbai as its citadel.
In the midst of the political turmoil roiling the Shiv Sena and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, a remarkable analogy has been drawn between Sena president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s tense face-off with his challenger Eknath Shinde and party founder Bal Thackeray’s strained ties with Shinde’s mentor Anand Dighe.Just like Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray marginalised Shinde in the Sena and government affairs despite the latter’s unofficial No. 2 position in the party, Bal Thackeray also sought to sideline the Thane Sena strongman Dighe after getting wary of his rising popularity.Dighe, who began his career in the Sena from the grass-roots level, died of heart attack in 2001 at the age of 49 after he met with an accident.Party old-timers point out that like Bal Thackeray Dighe never fought any elections and was mostly engaged in the affairs of the party’s Thane unit. Many locals looked up to him as a “problem-solver” as they used to flock to his “darbar” at Thane’s Tembhi Naka to seek his help with school-college admission for their children, hospitalisation, property disputes, among other things. He often used to summon various rival parties by issuing them chits under the aegis of a body called “Grahak Seva Manch”. A section of people also flayed Dighe’s bid to treat Thane as his “fiefdom” though, questioning his “extra-judicial manner of functioning”.The Thane police did not interfere with Dighe’s activities. In fact, successive police commissioners used to meet him as a “courtesy call” after taking over their charge in the city.Dighe first shot into limelight in the 1980s by claiming that the Haji Malang shrine near Kalyan was dedicated to the Nath-Panthi sect swamis, even as the Muslim community maintained that it was dedicated to Haji Malang baba. Dighe was a Nath-Panthi himself and wore several rings in his fingers.Another agitation that he later kicked off was to claim Hindus’ rights over the Durgadi fort in Kalyan. Dubbed as “Dharmaveer”, he also used to organise the Navratri and Ganesh festivals on a large scale.In 1989, a Thane corporator Shridhar Khopkar was killed due to cross-voting in favour of the Congress in the city mayoral polls. Dighe was later arrested in connection with this murder case under the then draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) and was in jail for a long time.Remembering Dighe, Sena deputy leader Shishir Shinde said, “He used to work till 3 am for the people. I recall that Dighe was injured in a lathi charge at Bhayander and got his leg fractured in the 1980s and Balasaheb Thackeray personally went to see him.’’After taking over as the Sena’s Thane district chief in the mid-80s, Dighe managed to get the Thane parliamentary constituency from the BJP during the seat-sharing negotiations between the two allies.A local corporator, Shinde was one of Dighe’s aides. He was later appointed as Leader of the House in the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). Apart from the TMC, Dighe also held influence in the civic bodies in Kalyan Dombivali, Ambernath, Navi Mumbai, Mira Bhayander Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi Nizampur, Vasai, Virar, NallaSopara, Naigaon, Palghar and Dahanu.This however also put him on a collision course with Thackeray Senior, who apprehended that he was getting too powerful and thus started clipping his wings over various matters. Dighe and Thackeray belonged to the same caste, CKP (Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu), and many Sainiks in Thane saw the former as an alternative to Thackerays.After coming to power in Maharashtra in 1995, the Sena-led government appointed T Chandrashekhar as the TMC commissioner. The civic body then launched a massive demolition exercise to widen the city roads, which was opposed by Dighe. But Thackeray Sr supported Chandrashekhar in his tussle with Dighe on this matter. The selection of candidates for the 1997 TMC polls also witnessed the shrinking of Dighe’s authority.Similarly, Shinde’s relations with Thackerays went sour in recent years. Though he has been the urban development minister, it was the Yuva Sena leader and environment minister, Aaditya Thackeray, who called the shots in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), even though Shinde was its chairman. In the urban development department too, many orders given by Shinde were stayed by the Thackerays.A chain smoker, Dighe met with an accident in Thane district in 2001 and was admitted to the Singhania hospital. He subsequently died due to heart attack in the hospital. After his death, the Sena sliced the party leadership of Thane city and district, carving dual posts for the units. Shinde, however, emerged as the undisputed party leader of the entire district in due course.Recently, a Marathi film on Dighe’s life, titled “Dharmaveer”, was released in theatres, which was funded by Shinde. The film proved to be a hit, with Shinde arranging a show for many people including his cabinet colleagues. He had been so influenced by his mentor that he also tried to adopt his looks and appearance. And, like Dighe Shinde is also known to be a skilled party organiser too.Suhas Godse, a senior president in a leading industrial house who had worked with the Singhania group when Dighe died, said, “Dighe looked after people with a heavy hand and a soft heart. I know for a fact that he did not make money for himself.”
Aaditya Thackeray made the remarks while leaving the Sena bhavan today.New Delhi: The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra is currently caught in a political turmoil after a rebellion by party leader Eknath Shinde. In a brief address to party workers, Sena minister Aaditya Thackeray said that this is a battle between truth and lies."You already know what was discussed in the meeting, the important thing is that we will not forget the betrayal done by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. We (Shiv Sena) will win for sure," Aaditya Thackeray said while leaving the party office in Mumbai.Mr Shinde, a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet and a heavyweight from Thane district, has rebelled against the party, pushing the MVA governmemt, in which NCP and Congress also share power, to the brink of collapse.Mr Shinde has claimed the support of nearly 40 MLAs, all of whom are currently in Guwahati in Assam.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Shiv Sena today said it would take action against the rebels by Saturday evening as they seemed headed towards launching a spin-off party named "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray".
Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a dig at Kamal Nath over MaharashtraBhopal: Taking a dig at Congress leader Kamal Nath, who has been sent as the party's observer in Maharashtra amid the political crisis there, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was "amusing" to see someone who "failed to save his own government" in Madhya Pradesh now trying to rescue the Shiv Sena in the neighbouring state.The Congress on Tuesday sent Kamal Nath as the party's observer in Maharashtra after Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde rebelled against his party along with a group of party MLAs and independents, pushing the Uddhav Thackery-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, of which Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress are also allies, to the brink of collapse."Now, Kamal Nath is off to Maharashtra. For what? To save the Maharashtra government," Mr Chouhan said in Ujjain while addressing a civic election meeting on Wednesday to gather support for the BJP.Mr Chouhan's remark came at a time when Maharashtra is seeing what appears to be a rerun of the political drama that had unfolded in Madhya Pradesh in March 2020, which led to the collapse of the Congress government and the BJP's return to power."Isn't it amusing to see someone who failed to save his own government in Madhya Pradesh trying to rescue the one in Maharashtra? Congress never stops amazing us," the Chief Minister said, referring to the downfall of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led Congress government two years ago."Can this party ever do any good? It cannot as it is counting its last moment," he added.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comKamal Nath had to step down as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in 2020 after 22 MLAs, most of them loyal to Jyotiraditya Scidia, resigned from the assembly, reducing the Congress to a minority with 92 MLAs in the 230-member house.It paved the way for the return of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh at the helm after a 15-month rule of the Congress. The Congress rebels, including their leader Mr Scindia, were later inducted into the BJP. They all contested the assembly bypolls and most of them won.
Kalaburagi: Various pro-Kannada associations have called Bidar bandh on July 11, urging the governement to take back Class 9 textbooks, which they said has twisted facts regarding 12th-centaury social reformer Basavanna. Basavanna’s followers from every village of Bidar district will participate in the agitation planned on the same day. The agitators will demand that the government take it back the syllabus. “Basavanna is an asset to the entire humanity. So wrong message should not be passed to future generations,” they said. Basavakalyan Anubhava Mantapa president Basavaling Pattadevaru said he had spoken to chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who he said, has promised a revision. “But till now, it has not been done,” he alleged. A delegation of seers from this region will petition the chief minister, he added.Mahadayi activists to meet CM todayHubballi: As the state government has failed to submit required documents to Central Water Commission, implementation of Mahadayi river project is deferred, said Veeresh Sobaradamath, state president of Raita Sena (Karnataka). Sobaradamath told reporters here on Saturday that though CM Basavaraj Bommai was identified with Mahadayi agitation, the project is still in cold storage. Alleging multi-crore corruption in irrigation department, Sobaradamath said officials have misused funds of Benne Halla lift irrigation project and substandard works are seen at Malaprabha catchment and canal areas. Demanding the managing director’s office of Karnataka Neeravari Nigama Ltd in Hubballi, he said shifting the office to Davanagere is unscientific. They will petition Basavaraj Bommai listing their concerns in Hubballi on Sunday.GP blames BJP for Maha crisisKalaburagi: BJP in Maharashtra is planning to bring donw the coalition government by provoking some Shiva Sena MLAs, but the attempt will not succeed, said Congress leader G Parameshwara. Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, he said there is a need to amend election-related acts to check such attempts. “What BJP had done in Karnataka is being tried in other states, including Maharashtra now. This development is dangerous to democracy. When no one single party gets a simple majority to form the government, then it’s necessary that some parties join hands to form the government. But now, BJP is involved in bringing down the government. It has planned to stop other parties from coming together,” he said.Learning materials distributedDavanagere: Parents of specially disabled children can register their children’s details at composite regional centre (CRC) in Davanagere so the central government can distribute teaching/ learning materials and wheelchairs to them, said Dr K K Prakash, district disabled and senior citizens’ department officer. He insisted that parents make use of the materials effectively as they help develop children’s mental health. As many as 30 kits of teaching/ learning materials and four wheelerchairs were distributed to beneficiaries under ADIP Scheme. CRC director Dr Mohanty, Dr Jnanavel, specialists of CRC and parents of disabled children were present. Human milk bank to open on June 29Dharwad: The first-of-its kind human milk bank, jointly set up by Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) and Rotary Club of Seven Hills and SDM Medical College at SDM Hospital at Sattur near here, will be inaugurated on June 29. Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade will inaugurate the milk bank. KVG Bank chairman P Gopi Krishna said such banks are currently operating in Bengaluru and Belagavi. Human milk is necessary for the survival of infants and milk banks play an important role in providing human milk to infants born prematurely to those who have lost their biological mothers or have mothers who are unable to breastfeed them.
GUWAHATI: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday neither BJP nor Assam will pay the bills of the Maharashtra legislators led by Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde camping at private luxury hotel Radisson Blu in Guwahati since Wednesday. "Why will BJP pay the bills or, for that matter, why will Assam foot the bill? Rather, Assam is earning by way of GST from the hotel." He also denied having any role in the crisis in Maharashtra. "Why should I be involved in whether there is BJP's support in Maharashtra or not? My only concern is that if some guests have come to Assam, they should be staying securely and comfortably. Tomorrow, even if Congress comes, I will extend the same welcome," Sarma said. He said BJP ministers and legislators visiting the hotel where Maharashtra MLAs are camping has no connection with the political crisis. Sarma also took a jibe at the media. "I am grateful Shiv Sena came at this time and because of which Assam's flood got highlighted," he said.
Guwahati: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said neither BJP nor Assam will be paying the bills of the Maharashtra legislators camping at Radisson Blu hotel here since Wednesday. He also denied his involvement with the crisis in Maharashtra. “Why should be involved in whether there is BJP’s support in Maharashtra or not. My only concern is that if some guests have come to Assam, they should be staying securely and comfortably. Tomorrow, even if Congress comes, I will extend the same welcome,” Sarma said.He added that BJP ministers and legislators visiting the hotel where the Maharashtra MLAs are camping has no connection with the political crisis in Maharashtra. “BJP ministers and MLAs can go to any hotel wherever they want to. There is no restriction on them,” he said.Amid speculations of rising hotel bills of the rebel Maharashtra MLAs, Sarma said, “Why will BJP pay the bills or for that matter why will Assam foot the bills. Rather, Assam is earning by way of GST from the hotel.” He added that if anybody has any doubt, one can always seek information under RTI.Sarma also took a jibe at the media by saying that only after the legislators from Maharashtra arrived here during the ongoing floods, Assam’s flood woes have been taken notice of. “I am grateful that Shiv Sena came at this time because of which Assam’s flood was highlighted,” Sarma said.
GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma neither BJP nor Assam will be paying the bills of the Maharashtra legislators camping at the luxury Radisson Blu hotel here from Wednesday. He also denied his involvement with the crisis in Maharashtra. “Why should be involved in whether there is BJP’s support in Maharashtra or not. My only concern is that if some guests have come to Assam, they should be staying securely and comfortably. Tomorrow, even if Congress comes, I will extend the same welcome,” Sarma said. Amid speculations of rising hotel bills of the rebel Maharashtra MLAs, Sarma said, “Why will BJP pay the bills or for that matter why will Assam foot the bills. Rather Assam is earning by way of GST from the hotel.” Sarma also took a jibe at journalists saying that only after the legislators from Maharashtra arrived here during the ongoing flood, Assam’s flood woes have been taken notice of. “I am grateful Shiv Sena came at this time because of which Assam's flood was highlighted,” Sarma said.
Almost more squalid than the squalid shenanigans in Maharashtra last week is the casual manner in which we have accepted this new normal. It no longer surprises us that our elected representatives betray the people’s mandate by switching sides midstream. It no longer surprises us that when a plot forms to bring down a government, those elected by some of the poorest people in India should luxuriate for several days in five-star hotels and travel in private jets. Why are we no longer shocked by the amorality that has come to characterise our political culture? Why does the Election Commission not ask some questions?It is vital that questions start being asked. Or there is not the smallest hope that in this ‘new India’, the worst habits and practices of that old India will end. And it must. We badly need a political culture that is not defined by cynicism, corruption, and chicanery. It is no small thing for the government of one of our most important states to be brought down before it has completed its term. But after we saw what happened in Madhya Pradesh and Goa, our sensibilities have got numbed.The news channels covered last week’s events as if we were witnessing a cricket match, not a political crisis.Breathless reporters followed the main characters around, sticking microphones in their faces and demanding to know the score. ‘The numbers? What are the numbers?’ Then, exactly like a cricket team would pose after winning a match, Eknath Shinde and his gang of rebels posed for a group photo at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati. They travelled there on chartered flights from a luxury resort in Surat in the dead of the night. When they were spotted at Surat airport and TV reporters tried to fling the ‘numbers, numbers’ questions at the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, they were shooed away by Gujarat policemen. Why the secrecy? Why the need to be confined to hotel rooms? Why the need for the BJP to deny involvement in the whole murky scheme, when its fingerprints are so clearly visible?The mastermind of the whole sordid saga is Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister, who has been trying to bring down Uddhav Thackeray’s government from the day it was formed. It is hard to say for certain why the Shiv Sena chose not to stick with the BJP after contesting the 2019 Assembly elections as a coalition. But rumour has it that there was an understanding that the Chief Minister after this second electoral victory would be from the Shiv Sena. Devendra Fadnavis was so desperate not to lose his job that he tried to hang on by persuading Ajit Pawar to be sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister with himself as Chief Minister in a very irregular, pre-dawn ceremony. Uncle Sharad was not having any of this, so Fadnavis was CM for just three days.Undeterred by this failed attempt to grab power, Fadnavis has continued with his mission to get his job back. When two sadhus were killed by villagers in Palghar, the incident was used to accuse Uddhav Thackeray of not speaking out loudly enough for Hindutva. It is the Hindutva card that has remained in play. It has been used by Shiv Sena rebels as a reason to rebel. Ostensibly with the pious aim to keep Balasaheb Thackeray’s ‘legacy’ alive by partnering with a political party that has shining Hindutva credentials, instead of battered secular ones. It sounds like no more than a last-minute excuse for breaking a political party and bringing down a government.Personally, I am no fan of the Shiv Sena. Its political ideology has no appeal for me, and its resort to violence at the smallest provocation appals me. But as someone who lives in Mumbai, I am forced to concede that Uddhav ran a reasonably competent government. His handling of the pandemic has earned him praise across the country and Mumbai has come back to life and commerce with remarkable speed. It has also been something of an interesting political lesson to observe how the Shiv Sena’s rougher edges have softened because of its alliance with two secular political parties.It is hard, before the deadline of this column, to predict what will happen now. What can be said and what needs to be said is that we must start demanding an end to a political culture that damages not just governments but India.It is disheartening to watch the worst habits of the Congress party, especially of Indira Gandhi, being embraced by the BJP, especially when the Prime Minister loses no chance to remind us that we live in a ‘new India’ in which the motto is ‘reform, perform, transform’. The words rhyme neatly but they remain meaningless as long as the BJP continues to keep alive a political culture that was despicable even in the ‘old India’Frankly what puzzles me is why the BJP is so keen to grab power in states where it fails to win elections. Why does it not concentrate instead on reforming, performing, and transforming in states that it already rules, so that it will be easier to win elections in states that have given some other political formation a mandate to govern? If BJP chief ministers could show that they are much better at governance than others, voters in other states would willingly choose them.
In a bid to not antagonise the party cadre and continuing with their claim that they are still a part of Shiv Sena, rebels led by Eknath Shinde on Saturday appeared to softened their stance against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and instead directed their attack against ally NCP.This comes amid the Shinde group also starting to mobilise supporters across state to show its mass base.While MLA Deepak Kesarkar, a part of the rebel group, alleged that NCP was out to finish Shiv Sena, the faction evoked the late Balasaheb Thackeray to gain greater foothold and acceptance within Sainiks by naming itself ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’.Speaking to the media, Kesarkar said, “We are Balasaheb’s Shiv Sainiks. Therefore, we will not speak against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The NCP is out to finish Shiv Sena. How could any Sena MLA tolerate such a thing? They came to power because of Shiv Sena and now is plotting to finish our party.”Maintaining that while Sena was the biggest political party in Maha Vikas Aghadi, yet, “there was discrimination against its elected members when it came to allocation of funds”, he claimed.“The NCP was generously allocating funds to its own party members. Concerns voiced by Sena ministers went unheeded.”Kesarkar added, “From the very beginning, we have been telling Uddhav Thackeray that Shiv Sena should have an alliance with BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has special affection for Matoshree and Balasaheb.”“During the BJP-led government, whenever we had any problems, we would inform Uddhavji. He would take up our issues with then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Unfortunately, these things are not happening in the Maha Vikas Aghadi regime.”Asserting that rebels were still in Shiv Sena, Kesarkar said that those camping in Guwahati had neither left the party nor Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideology. “We are not taking away the original party’s title. We have just decided to address our group by the name ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’,” he added.“We have a two-thirds majority of 55 MLAs. The Shiv Sena is left with just 16-17 MLAs. We are entitled to be recognised as a separate group. So, there is no question of merger with any party,” he further said.Rebel MLA Tanaji Sawant added, “The NCP was deliberately promoting its own candidates in Sena’s constituencies by allocating more funds.”Minister and rebel Gulabrao Patil claimed that of the total state budget of Rs 5.48 lakh crore, NCP got 57 per cent of the funds, Congress 26 per cent and Sena only 16 per cent.Meanwhile, as Sainiks attacked the office of rebel Tanaji Sawant and warned that all rebels would be treatedsimilarly, the Shinde camp indicated it would also take to streets to counter the protests if necessary.At Thane, MP Shrikant Shinde, son of Eknath Shinde, addressed supporters at a street corner meeting. “We have received strict instructions from Eknath Shinde not to protest or attack anybody. But if Sainiks don’t behave, we will be forced to give a befitting reply.”At the meeting, huge posters of Bal Thackeray and Thane’s fiery leader, late Anand Dighe, were seen.
Shrikant Shinde said there was an attempt to create a law and order situation in Maharashtra (FILE)Thane: Scores of supporters of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde assembled near his house in Thane district on Saturday with flags and large portraits of party founder Bal Thackeray and regional strongman Anand Dighe.Mr Shinde is camping in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam with a sizable number of MLAs since June 21 after raising the banner of revolt against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.The rebel group has demanded that the Sena withdraw from the MVA, which also comprises the NCP and Congress, and try to forge an alliance again with one-time ally BJP.Among those who addressed the gathering was Mr Shinde's son Shrikant Shinde, who is Sena MP from Kalyan in Thane and whose Ulhasnagar office was pelted with stones during the day by 8-10 men shouting pro-Thackeray slogans.The Kalyan MP said Sena leaders and ordinary Sainiks suffered a lot at the hands of the NCP after the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed post the state Assembly polls in late 2019.He claimed NCP, which holds the finance portfolio in the Uddhav Thackeray government, did not allot funds to constituencies of Sena MLAs, and meetings and efforts within the Thackeray-led party to set things right were in vain.The MP claimed all disgruntled segments of the Sena were rallying around Mr Shinde as they had confidence in him that he would deliver justice to the party cadre.Around 40 Sena MLAs and 10 Independent legislators were with Mr Shinde, the Kalyan MP claimed.Shrikant Shinde said there was a calculated attempt to create a law and order situation in the state, and decried attacks on the offices of some of the rebel MLAs.He said supporters of the rebel group were quiet on the directives of Mr Shinde and due to the path shown by Dighe, a hugely popular leader who died in 2001 and is considered the mentor of the former.Despite some people calling him a traitor and betrayer, Mr Shinde continues to assert that he is a loyal Shiv Sainik, the Lok Sabha MP said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comShrikant Shinde made light of threats from some segments of the Sena that rebel MLAs would not be allowed to roam around freely in Maharashtra.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
◾ A day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit given to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riots case, the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) arrested activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai while Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) arrested retired DGP RB Sreekumar. The action comes hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview, accused Setalvad of giving baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots to the police.◾ As the political turmoil in Maharashtra refuses to abate, the Mumbai police on Saturday imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning unlawful assembly in the city. Earlier in the day, the national executive of the Shiv Sena, a meeting of which was chaired by CM Uddhav Thackeray, passed a resolution stating that no one would be allowed to use the name of the party or Balasaheb Thackeray to form a new group. This came after Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who is leading a revolt against Uddhav, decided to name his faction ‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb’.◾ Shinde’s rebellion is reminiscent of a similar revolt in Maharashtra in 1978, then the first of its kind in the state’s political history. The rebel group then was led by none other than Sharad Pawar, who had succeeded in toppling the Vasantdada Patil government – formed after two splinter groups of Congress had joined hands – and becoming the youngest chief minister at the age of 38.◾ In the midst of the turmoil, a remarkable analogy has been drawn between Uddhav’s tense face-off with Shinde and party founder Bal Thackeray’s strained ties with Shinde’s mentor Anand Dighe. Just like Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray marginalised Shinde in the Sena and government affairs despite the latter’s unofficial No. 2 position in the party, Bal Thackeray also sought to sideline the Thane Sena strongman Dighe after getting wary of his rising popularity.◾ In Punjab, corruption accused IAS officer Sanjay Popli’s son, Kartik Popli, allegedly died by suicide at his house in Chandigarh. The incident took place in the presence of a team of Punjab vigilance bureau, which brought his father to his house during a search on Saturday. The police said that Kartik killed himself on the first floor of his house. His family members, however, allege that the state vigilance sleuths shot Kartik.◾ In the big international story of the day, US President Joe Biden signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. “Lives will be saved,” he said at the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims, the US President said, “Their message to us was to do something. Well today, we did.”Political Pulse◾ In recent months, an uneasy calm has prevailed between the BJP and its ally Janata Dal (United). The relationship between the two parties has strained over a number of issues such as caste census, anti-Agnipath protests, and “rewriting of history”. In the last three days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made two political gestures to possibly signal that all was well between the allies. But even as the BJP central leadership reached out to its ally, state BJP president Dr Sanjay Jaiswal and JD(U) parliamentary board chairperson Upendra Kushwaha were involved in a spat on Friday. The two leaders have held a grudge against one another for a long time. Read Santosh Singh’s report.◾ After 10 years, the Gorkhaland Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) election will take place on Sunday. Once where it led the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is a much-diminished political force at present. GJM general secretary and close Gurung aide Roshan Giri spoke to The Indian Express about people’s hope in the party as one that can stand for Gorkha interests, the GJM’s future strategies, tussle with BJP and alliance with the TMC, and the changing political dynamics of the Darjeeling Hills. Read edited excerpts here.Express Explained◾ The automobile industry, encompassing thousands of companies, millions of workers and billions in sunk costs, is undergoing a once-in-a-century change. Automakers are moving away from outsourcing towards internalizing most of the production. What catapulted this change? What are automobile companies doing? Is ‘Teslafication’ the way out? We explain.◾ The United States Supreme Court overturned by a 6-3 majority ‘Roe v. Wade’, the court’s landmark 1973 judgment that made abortion a constitutional right. The decision will transform life for women in America. What is Roe v. Wade, why is it significant, and what will happen in the US now? Read here.Weekend Reads◾ How Meherwan Irani made our chai pani America’s new favourite◾ Doctor in the House: Is child obesity the looming epidemic in India?◾ Shah Rukh Khan rings in 30 years in the Hindi film industry: What does he mean to Indian audiences?◾ How the documentary Trans Kashmir individualises a community which is often kept at bayICYMI: Here’s a list of best news reports, Opinion, Explained, and features from The Indian Express this week◾ Yashwant Sinha interview: ‘BJP doesn’t have numbers (for presidential polls)’◾ Bangladesh awaits its bridge of dreams across the mighty Padma◾ Sudheendra Kulkarni writes: A suitable President◾ Eknath Shinde’s rebellion spotlights Shiv Sena’s stubborn problem: Its decision-making process◾ Why PM Modi mentioned Abbas Ramsada in his blog
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs are staying at a hotel in Assam's GuwahatiGuwahati: The battle for control of the Shiv Sena has come down to who will carry forward the legacy of Bal Thackeray, the party's founder and the father of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.Sena MLA Eknath Shinde, who Team Thackeray has pointed out as the ringleader of a group of nearly 40 rebel MLAs holed up at a hotel in faraway BJP-ruled Assam, has named MLA Deepak Kesarkar as the spokesperson of his new faction, which they have christened "Shiv Sena Balasaheb" to mean the "ideal Shiv Sena as envisaged by Bal Thackeray".The faction has demanded recognition, which can only come from the Election Commission."We have the numbers, but we respect Chief Uddhav Thackeray and our faction won't merge with any other party," Mr Kesarkar told reporters today in Guwahati, where BJP sources have told NDTV that close aides of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma are helping with logistics but not taking part in any internal discussions of the rebel Sena MLAs."If recognition isn't given to our faction, we will go to court and prove our numbers," Mr Kesarkar said, adding the rebel MLAs won't quit the Sena but will carry on the legacy of "Balasaheb".On a question by reporters whether the Shiv Sena, and not the faction, is the one that has a direct link with the legacy of the Chief Minister's father and the faction would not be a true representation of the party, Mr Kesarkar said, "This is a constitutional struggle. We are not leaving Balasaheb's ideology. We didn't do anything wrong, illegal."On whether the rebels want a Thackeray-muft Sena, Mr Kesarkar told NDTV, "We agree there can be no Shiv Sena without Uddhav Thackeray." At a party meeting today, Uddhav Thackeray had criticised the rebel MLAs for using Bal Thackeray's name in their war of optics."Some people are asking me to say something, but I've already said that they (rebel MLAs) can do whatever they want to do, I won't interfere in their matters. They can take their own decision, but no one should use Balasaheb Thackeray's name," the Chief Minister said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe next big action in the Maharashtra crisis is likely to play out on Monday, when the rebel MLAs are expected to come to Mumbai, going by disqualification notices issued against them by Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal. But the rebels may open another front to avoid coming to Mumbai.Mr Zirwal has also rejected a no-confidence motion against him moved by two independent MLAs from the rival camp as it was not submitted at the Deputy Speaker's office but sent in an anonymous email, news agency PTI reported quoting unknown sources.
Trinamool Congress is open to local alliances in Assam with parties that are aggressively fighting the BJP but “under no circumstance” will it ally with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, the saffron party’s “B-team”, said state unit chief Ripun Bora on Saturday.Observing that the TMC will support the opposition’s joint candidate in the upcoming presidential election, Bora, however, remained non-committal on whether the Mamata Banerjee-led party will enter into any understanding with the Congress in Assam as the grand old party is “not fighting BJP in the way it should have”.“The TMC will obviously support the opposition candidate in the presidential election. Our central leadership has authorised our state unit to forge alliances at the local level.“However, there will be no alliance with the AIUDF under any circumstance as it is no longer an opposition party, it is the BJP’s B-team,” Bora told PTI on the sidelines of the party’s first state executive meeting here.“TMC wants to join hands with parties fighting BJP aggressively,” he said, without specifying any likely allies in the state.Addressing a press conference at the same venue, Bora said, “We will not have an alliance with any party that has a soft spot for the BJP.” The state unit chief said the TMC will launch a massive membership drive with an aim to bolster its ranks by the end of this year.“We have five lakh members now. We will launch an intensified membership drive once the floodwaters recede,” he said.Bora said the party will continue opposing the camping of dissident Maharashtra MLAs in a luxury hotel here, alleging that it was giving a bad name to the state as a ground for ‘horse trading’.“Our chief minister is emerging as an expert in horse trading, encounters and spreading hatred. It does not augur well for our state,” the former MP said.Among the decisions adopted at the executive meet, which was also attended by Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen, were demands for restoration of ‘special status’ for Assam, a “correct and updated” National Register of Citizens, resolving the issue of “doubtful voters” and regularisation of government jobs.
Assam has been in the grip of a devastating flood and landslides that have claimed more than 100 lives so far. The deluge has affected over three million people who are in dire straits. But it seems there is a “bigger crisis” which has kept the entire nation’s focus fixed on Assam. As many as 38 rebel Shiv Sena leaders are currently camping in Assam’s capital Guwahati and probably hatching a conspiracy to topple the three-party coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray. The almost week-long political drama involving dozens of Sena legislators has kept the local police and administration busy, at a time when they have more pressing issues to attend to. Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday sought to downplay the issue saying all “tourists” are welcome in Assam. A leading Assamese daily reported the daily food bill of these rebel MLAs, who are lodged at a luxury hotel in the city, is around Rs 8 lakh. A total of 70 rooms of Radisson Blu are being occupied by these ‘tourists’. And all this would surely run into several crores of rupees. The million dollar question is - why Assam, why not any other state? Sarma said he has nothing to do with the politics of Maharashtra. “Some people have come to Assam. They booked hotels. I am happy for that. You also come, it will help Assam's economy. Through this, Assam's tourism is also getting promoted,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. On Friday, Sarma was among the galaxy of BJP leaders who accompanied NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu while filing her nominations at Parliament complex, in the national capital. Reacting to the claims that Assam government was allegedly ignoring flood relief work and busy hosting the MLAs from Maharashtra, Sarma said he cannot order closure of hotels in Guwahati due to “floods in some parts of the state”. “We have spent so much money to promote tourism, (we say) visit Kamakhya, visit Kaziranga, now, should I stop those who have come to Assam,” he added. But the fact is that the 38 “tourists” from Maharashtra have not stepped out of the hotel since he checked in earlier this week. And the Kaziranga National Park is closed during the rainy season. So, one is left wondering how these tourists are killing their time in a Guwahati hotel. Perhaps, Sarma, seen as one of BJP’s master strategists, has a ready-made answer to this query. The NE tribal leader who nearly became PresidentBefore Droupadi Murmu, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had backed an influential tribal leader from the northeast. But that was a decade ago and the party was not in power back then. Former Lok Sabha Speaker, late Purno Agitok Sangma, belonged to the Garo tribe of the northeast. He served as chief minister of Meghalaya from 1980 to 1990. He represented the Tura Lok Sabha constituency for several terms until his death in 2016. The seat is now held by his daughter Agatha. His son Conrad is the current CM of Meghalaya. PA Sangma was a staunch Congressman but in 1999, he became a part of the group which revolted over the issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin. Subsequently, he joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) floated by Sharad Pawar. During the 2012 Presidential election, the BJP, which was the main opposition party, supported his candidature while the Congress-led ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) proposed the name of former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. Sangma hogged the limelight when he challenged Mukherjee’s election as the President, in the Supreme Court. He claimed that Mukherjee was holding an office of profit as chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and as the leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha when he contested the election. In December 2012, the top court turned down Sangma’s petition, saying it is not maintainable for regular hearing. ‘No encounter killings, but killed in police action’The Assam government carefully crafted its reply to a directive issued by the Gauhati high court, which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on alleged extrajudicial killings. In an affidavit, the state Home Department said earlier this week that 51 people died and 139 were injured “in police action” between May 2021 and May 31, 2022. The government claimed that no extrajudicial killings have taken place during this period, according to the affidavit quoted by a local English daily. This is the second affidavit filed by the BJP-led state government in the case. The PIL filed by Delhi-based lawyer and activist Arif Jwadder sought a probe into alleged fake encounters by an independent agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the court. He alleged that all the “victims were unarmed and handcuffed at the time of the encounter”, claiming that those killed or injured “were not dreaded criminals”. Earlier this year, the Union home ministry said in a written reply in Parliament that 655 cases of death in police encounters were registered across the country, with Assam recording the third-highest cases at 50. Maoist-infested Chhattisgarh topped the list with 191 deaths, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 117. It’s yet to be seen if the Assam government can steer clear of the allegation of extrajudicial killings levelled by the PIL. The next date of hearing is scheduled for the third week of July.
"Shiv Sena is a lion's den, you can only go in, you can't come out."This is what Manohar Joshi, who rose to Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and later, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, said in response to a question on why he did not leave the Shiv Sena.But that myth about the lion's den stands shattered to pieces with Shiv Sena leaving the party in such numbers that even the not-so-die-hard Sena supporters are aghast. Eknath Shinde did what former stalwarts Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray could not do. When they left the Sena, it created ripples but it did not turn into a tsunami; the Sena flourished. Today, the Sena is in such deep crisis that the very existence of the party is uncertain. This depends on whether Shinde is able to prove that more than two-thirds of MLAs stand with him against Uddhav Thackeray.The Shiv Sena was never a traditional political party. It was more of a cult around one man, Balasaheb Thackeray. His word was law and he virtually ran Mumbai because Shiv Sainiks would follow his instructions blindingly. Despite not holding any post ever in the government, he was a law unto himself; he was 'Sarkar' for millions of Maharashtrians.Uddhav Thackeray has been reduced to a minority in the party founded by his father, Balasaheb Thackeray.Balasaheb Thackeray was originally a cartoonist and had worked with the legendary R K Laxman. He was the son of Keshav Sitaram Prabodhankar Thackeray who was a reformer in his own right, and a very accomplished writer who had once "called for boycott of a temple which had refused to allow Dalits to offer worship." Sujata Anandan writes, "Bal Thackeray's father, at a public meeting, gave up his claim to his son and proclaimed that henceforth Balasaheb's life would be dedicated to uplifting Maharashtrians in Maharashtra."'Secure Maharashtra for Maharashtrians' was the call of senior Thackeray which he wanted his son to carry forward. Before the inception of the Shiv Sena in 1966, 'Maharashtra for Maharashtrians' was a thought which needed to be consolidated; Balasaheb accomplished that task by forming a political party which was originally used by the Congress governments in Maharashtra to counter the communist trade union movement which was very powerful in the 1960s. It is said that the Congress then supported the Shiv Sena with 'money bags'. It is no wonder that Thackeray supported the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in the mid-1970s. The Sena then was not a Hindutva party. It stood for the 'Marathi Manush' who felt threatened by the migrants coming to Mumbai from other states to earn their living. Preservation of the Marathi Identity is even now significant in the tension between Delhi and Mumbai.The Sena was comfortable with the BJP as long as it had an edge over the BJP in electoral politics. No BJP leader could afford to ignore 'Matoshree', the Thackaray residence, and survive in Maharashtra politics, but with the emergence of Narendra Modi as the supreme commander of the BJP at the centre, the equation changed. In 2014, the Sena and the BJP contested elections separately, with the Shiv Sena originally not supporting the BJP government in Maharashtra, but doing so later. But through it all, despite being an alliance partner in the government, the Shiv Sena was more critical of Modi and the BJP than any Opposition party.In 2019, the Shiv Sena, despite contesting the assembly elections with the BJP, decided to part with it and aligned with Sharad Pawar's NCP and the Congress, which are ideologically the diametrically opposite of what the Sena supposedly stands for. The Shiv Sena by then had been dislodged from the position of big brother. The Congress at the centre had been replaced by the BJP, and it is the BJP that is now viewed by the Sena as the 'New' Delhi that wants to dominate the Marathi Asmita. The NCP and the Congress are in no position to dictate terms to the Shiv Sena, but the BJP can do that.Senior Sena leader Eknath Shinde is leading revolt against Uddhav Thackeray.Those who view the conflict between Sena and the BJP merely as a conflict between two parties are missing the core issue. The Shiv Sena in Maharashtra politics does not want to play second fiddle to any all - India Party which potentially could subsume its Marathi regional identity. Historically, the Marathas never surrendered to Delhi. Both were constantly at war. Chhatrapati Shivaji is the biggest icon of this struggle. Those who felt that with the demise of the Balasaheb Thackeray, the Shiv Sena could be manipulated missed the basic reason for the existence of the Sena. Sena has given voice to voiceless Maharashtrians who felt pushed to the margins by the more educated migrants. About the Sena supporters, Sujata Anandan writes in her biography of Balasaheb, "The bulk of that crowd was drawn from the working classes and from the rank of the unemployed and even uneducated people with idle minds."Eknath Shinde, the architect for the revolt against Uddhav Thackeray's leadership, was once an auto driver. Many top Sena leaders had very humble beginnings. Can people like Shinde, who is already being viewed as playing Delhi's game, become the symbol of Marathi Asmita? At the outset, it seems very remote that Shinde and his group have a long-term future. For the time being, he may look victorious, but in the long run, his group will always be seen as traitors who backstabbed the Marathi cause.There is no doubt that Uddhav Thackeray is more soft-spoken and more accommodative than his father. But to assume that this episode will annihilate the Thackeray's legacy would be reckless. Thackeray and 'Matoshree, are not just a name or a house, they symbolise an idea which has always resisted the might of the centre and never surrendered. The lion's den will recover.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com(Ashutosh is author of 'Hindu Rashtra' and Editor, satyahindi.com.)Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.
117 people have died in floods and landslides since April this year.Guwahati/Silchar: Assam is now at the centre of two major events -- one a power struggle involving Maharashtra legislators and the other, a struggle for survival for lakhs of people hit by devastating floods.About 33 lakh people across 28 out of the state's 35 districts have been affected by floods since April this year. 117 people have died in floods and landslides since April this year. About 80 per cent of Silchar, the state's second largest city, is submerged as people struggle for food and water supply.Against this backdrop, the Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati has become the centre of a power struggle within the Shiv Sena, part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra.Sena rebel and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde has claimed support of a majority of the party's MLAs and the crisis is threatening to toppled the Maharashtra government.While Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has maintained that this is an internal struggle of Sena, sightings of state ministers and BJP leaders at the Guwahati hotel suggest otherwise.As the NDTV hit the flooded streets in Silchar, many residents questioned the priorities of the BJP-led state government."Assam is drowning and ministers are being brought here from Maharashtra and being kept in a five-star hotel for horse trading? Is this what the Assam government is?" a resident asked.Another said Chief Minister Sarma must visit the submerged areas where people are stuck inside their homes."We want the chief minister to come here and assess the situation. There are so many people who are trapped here because of the floods. He needs to help them right now. People are not being able to leave their homes," the resident said.In Guwahati, opposition parties led by the Congress staged a protest against the BJP-led government. They demanded that the Maharashtra MLAs be sent back and the government focus on managing the floods.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comResponding to questions from the media, Mr Sarma said, "Should I shut down Guwahati's hotels because there is flood in some part of the state. We have spent so much money to promote tourism, should I stop those who have come to Assam?"There is a massive shortage of water, food and medicines in the flood-hit areas as National Disaster Response Force teams work overtime. The Indian Air Force has been air dropping essential supplies too.
MUMBAI: The political drama unfolding in Maharashtra now has legal experts divided too on whether disqualification can be sought for the ‘rebels’ in the Shiv Sena. However, most are in agreement that the MLAs cannot be disqualified on grounds of not attending recent party meetings as that is outside the ambit of legislative affairs. The party’s petition to the deputy speaker seeking disqualification of 16 MLAs including rebel leader Eknath Shinde has sought to invoke para 2 (1) (a) of the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which governs ‘disqualification on grounds of defection’. A senior counsel from Delhi said the party may be relying on a 2019 Supreme Court judgment in a Karnataka case to argue that the actions of the MLAs would “portray defection.” The Sena plea is that at a “crucial time” during “political uncertainty” when the party needed to consolidate, meetings were called on June 21-22 and despite issuing notices, these MLAs did not attend and instead left for Surat and Guwahati which are in BJP-ruled States. The plea said the BJP, in a conspiracy with these MLAs, is trying to topple the govt and in these circumstances, their not attending the meetings amounted to voluntarily giving up membership of the party; remaining incommunicado and not responding to the call of the leadership also shows that they have given up membership and hence they should be disqualified, it said. However, former attorney general S G Aney said the disqualification process would be “void” legally as not attending the meetings would not amount to quitting the party. Lack of attendance at meetings “cannot be taken into the realm of legislature’s action and the Speaker has no authority over the matter. At best it would be a matter for the party’s internal consideration for consequences on such unbecoming behavior,” said Aney. Anil Sakhare, a senior counsel, also agreed that at this juncture it may not attract disqualification. Senior counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar said the situation is “very fluid’’ but if by their conduct it can be shown that they have left the party, then it may attract disqualification. “But rebels can claim merger,” he added. To overcome any threat of disqualification they have to show 2/3rd members of a party have merged with another party. Under the 10th Schedule paragraph 4, disqualification on grounds of defection would not apply in case of a merger with another party. “It will eventually depend on the facts which at the moment are not all clear,’’ said another senior counsel from Delhi. He added, “At this stage prima facie, there can be no disqualifications since not attending the meeting does not amount to voluntarily giving up the membership of the party. It would depend on the explanation that the member may give. A party cannot single out a few members if there is support of two-third members in the rebel faction. The Karnataka case was different on facts.”
Eknath Shinde with rebel Shiv Sena MLAs at Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati.New Delhi: In its request to disqualify 16 Shiv Sena rebels, Uddhav Thackeray's team has alleged that "delinquent MLAs" are working to create distrust in the party and overthrow the government. The party cites similar circumstances in Karnataka, where the disqualification of rebels had been backed by the Supreme Court."The respondent along with his cohorts are indulging in anti-party activities by orchestrating defections within the (Shiv Sena) in order to destabilize the MVA government," says the disqualification petition."They have remained mysteriously inaccessible in pursuance of their sinister objective of toppling the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government."The Shiv Sena, calling attention of the Speaker to "certain blatant and brazen actions" of MLAs, accuses them of committing the constitutional "sin" of defection."The respondent along with certain other delinquent MLAs are working in connivance to create distrust in the party and consequently overthrow the government, by going against the directions, will and ideology of the Party," the Sena alleges.The MLAs had gone incommunicado and had also deliberately stayed absent from meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, the petition says. The meetings were called to discuss cross-voting in key elections, it says."Such conduct on the part of the respondent as well as on the part of the other delinquent MLAs, acting under the directions of the BJP, gives rise to a legitimate inference that the respondent has voluntarily relinquished membership of the SSLP," says the Sena.The party also accuses the BJP at the centre and state of "holding a grudge" against the Shiv Sena for forming a coalition government with the Congress and NCP and "making concerted efforts to orchestrate division/defection within the Shiv Sena".It says "the scheming of the BJP" to divide the Sena led to crossvoting and the party losing a seat to the BJP.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Deputy Speaker is expected today to send notices to the rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas have been filed, party sources told NDTV.The rebel MLAs are preparing to move Supreme Court once notices are issued to them, sources have told NDTV. The Eknath Shinde camp is also expected to move the Election Commission staking claim for the party and the symbol, sources added.
NASHIK/AURANGABAD: Members of Shiv Sena in Ahmednagar and Jalgaon municipal corporations are in 'tight spot' following the rebellion by Eknath Shinde. Ahmednagar civic body has 25 Sena corporators and shares power with NCP. Sena got its mayor in Jalgaon Municipal Corporation last year after a defection of 30 BJP corporators engineered by Shinde. Sena sources in Ahmednagar city unit told TOI that at least 10-12 Sena corporators have endorsed the stand taken by Shinde about toeing the Hindutva line. Adav told TOI that although he has huge respect for Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, he fully endorses and supports Shinde. He also said Uddhav is still the chief of Sena. "The party is moving away from its core principle by aligning with parties that are not natural allies of Sena," he said, adding the leaders deputed by central leadership to oversee party affairs in Ahmednagar are ruining Sena in the district. Sena leaders from Jalgaon claimed there is no threat to the ruling party in the civic body, one of the defectors admitted he is watching the political developments keenly. "If the Shinde faction joins hands with BJP to form the government, there is a possibility of a political turmoil in the Jalgaon civic body," added Sena sources. Jalgaon city president Suresh Bhole mocked the defectors saying that they have 'dug their own grave' by deserting BJP. In Aurangabad, which had Shiv Sena and BJP in alliance for the municipal corporation, party workers were confident of bagging more than expected number of seats. The term for the previous body elected ended in April 2020 and since then, the AMC is being headed and run by administrator Astik Kumar Pandey. Former Shiv Sena mayor Nandkumar Ghodele said, "For the first two days, we felt that the rebellion would dent the party. But with the passing of time, we sense a growing sympathy and love for Sena and Thackeray family." He said that in the upcoming civic body elections, Sena will definitely get more seats as people are criticising the rebel camp. During the previous term, Shiv Sena won 28 seats and post election, seven independents joined the fold.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi says Eknath Shinde stabbed Uddhav Thackeray in the back.New Delhi: Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday hit back at rebel leader Eknath Shinde's claim that the party was diverging from its ideology of Hindutva. "Which Hindutva teaches you to stab your party, which is like a family, in the back?" she said, speaking to NDTV, asserting that ideology is being used as an alibi for the "BJP-backed" rebellion.Eknath Shinde has said the Sena's alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress in Maharashtra is "unnatural", and that it should restore its pact with the BJP. Meanwhile, the rebellion against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is growing stronger with latest developments suggesting that Mr Shinde has the critical number of MLAs, 37, required to split the party in the assembly without falling foul of the anti-defection law. Ms Chaturvedi said ideology is not the cause of Mr Shinde's actions: "He was given the second most important ministry, Urban Development, which usually the Chief Minister keeps with himself. His son is a member of Parliament."She also claimed that not all of those who appear to be with Mr Shinde will "stand against scrutiny". "We are constantly in touch with them; and they are in touch with us." Ms Chaturvedi was asked whether sections of the party were dissatisfied by the relatively progressive, softer image being projected, in particular by the Chief Minister's son, Aaditya Thackeray. "Every party goes through churning, depending on which way the political narrative is shifting in the state... The BJP, too, is different from what it was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's times," she said. On party MP Sanjay Raut's earlier statement that the Sena could consider breaking up the alliance with Congress and NCP if the rebels returned, Ms Chaturvedi explained, "That statement was thrown as challenge, that, instead of speaking to us from Guwahati, they should come to Mumbai and face us... This was a challenge that exposed them further." But is such a breakup still a possibility, she was asked. "A decision on the alliance cannot be forced upon us. We asked them to come and speak... it is too late for that now."Asked when a floor test is likely in the assembly, Ms Chaturvedi said, "We will ask the speaker, deputy speaker, governor to first ask those MLAs to return. They cannot work from Guwahati hotel."She rejected suggestions that Uddhav Thackeray might have made some mistakes that caused the rebellion. Accusing the Centre's ruling BJP of being behind it, she said, "If there were issues, we could have sat across the table. Their letters now are being drafted by the BJP. Eknath Shinde has already said a 'superpower party' is supporting them." On criticism that the chief minister has been inaccessible, Ms Chaturvedi cited the Covid lockdown and his illness. She also addressed speculation that the Shinde camp could claim to be the real Shiv Sena, saying that rebels would have to have two-thirds of "all elected representatives of the party" with them. To a specific question about the assembly arithmetic, she said, "Let me remind you - let's say they have the number - they will be disqualified unless they merge. They will have to merge with BJP." PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOn Uddhav Thackeray possibly having missed signs of the rebellion, she said that a person "most trusted" (Eknath Shinde) cannot be expected to do such a thing."Balasaheb was a person who maintained his words," she added, referring to Uddhav Thackeray's father and the party's founder, Bal Thackeray. "He stood by what he spoke. This (rebellion) is now Balasaheb's Hindutva."
The battle for the heart of Maharashtra unfolds before us like a scene out of the Greco Roman wars. On one side, we have the somewhat battle-weary combined forces of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi; on the other, Eknath Shinde, the mighty dissident from the Shiv Sena with his swelling band of brothers, claiming that the coalition that the Sena had made with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Sonia Gandhi’s Congress was unholy. Though it is being publicly denied, strong support is coming from the BJP headed by Devendra Fadnavis, still smarting from being dethroned by the MVA, and consumed by the desire for regaining his lost throne. The great strength of the camp supporting Shinde, as we all know, is the north’s demographic strength — numbers, the immeasurable human mass that BJP-ruled states hold, ready to pulverise the enemy who snatched away India’s financial capital successfully.Operation Grab Back began a few days ago when a few air-conditioned buses were said to have carried dissidents from the MVA into Gujarat’s Surat and kept them in a five-star hotel awaiting orders. This is, by now, a familiar scenario, repeated in many states before toppling an elected government and replacing it with one that is more Centre-friendly.As things began stirring in Mumbai and Surat this time, suddenly and inexplicably, three chartered planes flew dissidents, whose ranks had swelled, from the arid climes of Surat to the flood-ravaged north-eastern state of Assam. In Guwahati, as in Surat, they are reportedly staying in a five-star luxury hotel. As we all know, Assam is facing floods and landslides that have killed almost 100, rendered almost 3 lakh homeless and nearly submerged 32 of the state’s 36 districts.Questions arise, like who has been funding these expensive disaster tourism ventures for dissidents opposing the MVA, of which they are still a part? Who funded the trips in air conditioned buses to Surat and picked up the tab for stays in five-star hotels in both Surat and Guwahati? The Maharashtra BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil says his party has nothing to do with what has been happening in the Sena’s ranks and will not stake a claim for government formation. However, Shinde and his friends were received by a BJP MP and a BJP MLA at Guwahati airport.While the political drama is still unfolding in Mumbai and Delhi, with Uddhav Thackeray moving out of his official residence and the swelling numbers of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs being feted at Radisson Blu in Guwahati, it seems more likely than not that the MVA government may fall. It may be cause for glee in the ranks of those who engineered this coup, but it still leaves another question unanswered: What possessed the powers that be to undertake this unseemly horse trading in a state reeling under unprecedented floods? Media savvy as they are, did they not pause to think of how the images of the homeless rushing to safe spaces with their minimal possessions would play against the backdrop of MLAs thumping each other on the back and smiling for the cameras in plush hotels?It is unlikely that the Assam Chief Minister, during his much publicised train journey through the affected areas, had failed to notice how inadequate the air dropping of food and relief materials was proving to be in the face of the deluge. Didn’t he point out to the organisers of this teddy bears’ picnic at the Radisson Blu how hunger and disease are stalking the beleaguered land, and that his first duty was to the citizens of Assam? Such indifference to public opinion brings to mind Herodotus, witness to the endless bloodied procession of armies during the multicultural wars and the end of Xerxes, the powerful Persian King of Kings: “The end is not apparent from the very outset.”Herodotus, a passionate advocate of freedom and democracy and a foe of despotic behaviour, would make good reading in these times for our elected representatives. Herodotus never blames human beings, he blames the system. It is the system that creates the soldiers and the kings and the learned men eventually. And their quality determines the end result. At the end of the Greco Persian wars, a handful of free speaking, ever squabbling Greeks won because they were defending what is most defensible: The right of all citizens to be treated well, to be heard, to live with dignity befitting a human being. The Persians, with their great disciplined ranks, lost, because they worshipped at the feet of one supreme leader unquestioningly, with no arguments.The Maharashtra dissidents enjoying themselves at someone else’s expense, in five-star luxury surrounded by misery, devastation, land erosion and death, are a metaphor, a symbol and sign of our times. They point to the borders that have been drawn between the common citizens and the political class they vote for. The millions that are being squandered on people’s representatives who are defying their given mandate, could have been at the service of the state’s disaster management department to help the people of Assam who have lost their homes, their crops and their self respect.This is not the first instance, nor will it be the last. Year after year, crisis brews in a state and crores are wasted in supporting completely irrational dissidence through undemocratic means. To think that, decades ago, Mumbai was India’s first multi language metropolitan city where VK Krishna Menon, a rank “outsider”, could win an election and rise to be a Union minister.What went wrong? Things changed with the rise of linguistic chauvinism. Once it began to tug at the political imagination, Maharashtra hit out at Gujaratis, and then, at South Indians and other “Others”. Sadly, politicians from various ideological camps discarded their core ideology of liberal multiculturalism and joined the xenophobic supporters of “Maharashtra for Maharashtrians” and Marathi chauvinists. In 1966, a cartoonist, Bal Thackeray created the Shiv Sena, and soon established a mindset that was anything but amusing. The wall built around the state is today simultaneously its shield and a trap. Such walls do not make good neighbours. They will always make state politics a target for the entry of Trojan horses from UP to Guwahati.The writer is former chairperson, Prasar Bharati
SURAT: Dissident MLAs from Maharashtra continued to arrive in the Diamond City even on the second day. Three Shiv Sena MLAs and an independent MLA from Maharashtra reached city on Wednesday morning and left for Guwahati in a chartered flight. Yogesh Kadam, Manjula Gavit and Gopal Dalvi, all three MLAs of Shiv Sena and Chandrakant Patil, an independent MLA will now join the 35 other MLAs in Guwahati. Kadam and Gavit were brought to the luxury hotel where Eknath Shinde was camping on Tuesday. Dalvi and Patil arrived at the airport and directly boarded the chartered flight. Senior police officials and BJP politicians visited the city airport to check the arrangements. “Few more MLAs are reaching the city and will go to Guwahati too. After the picture got clearer a day later, Maharashtra MLAs who were afraid to come out earlier are now joining the rebels,” said a city BJP politician. Meanwhile, heavy police bandobast is being maintained at the hotel since Monday night and will continue till the MLAs keep coming to the city. However, crime branch and special operation group cops have been relieved from duties.
The number of Shiv Sena MLAs who have supported Eknath Shinde has now reached around 40 from 11 when the revolt began. These include all five from western Maharashtra. The move by the rebel MLAs is mostly due to fear among Sena legislators of losing hold in their respective assembly constituencies to the NCP and the Congress, sources said.Pune News1Season 2 of Apla Pune Marathon to be held on June 262Maharashtra: NCP legislator claims Eknath Shinde’s revolt pre-planned, made moves during Rajya Sabha and MLC polls3Maharashtra: Disquiet over allies’ rising clout drives some Sena MLAs to Shinde campMore from PuneThe Sena has five legislators from five districts of western Maharashtra with two from Satara and one each from Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur. The legislators to have moved to the rebel camp are Anil Babar from Khanapur in Sangli, Prakashrao Abitkar from Radhanagari in Kolhapur, Shambhuraje Desai from Patan in Satara, Mahesh Shinde of Koregaon in Satara, and Shahaji Patil from Sangola. Express SubscriptionCheck out our special pricing for international readers when the offer lastsSubscribe NowThe Sena has five legislators from five districts of western Maharashtra with two from Satara and one each from Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur. The legislators to have moved to the rebel camp are Anil Babar from Khanapur in Sangli, Prakashrao Abitkar from Radhanagari in Kolhapur, Shambhuraje Desai from Patan in Satara, Mahesh Shinde of Koregaon in Satara, and Shahaji Patil from Sangola. Express SubscriptionCheck out our special pricing for international readers when the offer lastsSubscribe Now
Even as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is currently facing a survival crisis due to a rebellion by Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde, the state departments – mostly controlled by allies NCP and Congress – have issued government orders for the release of funds worth thousands of crores in the last four days for development works.This has prompted Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, to write to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The BJP has sought the Governor’s intervention to curb the “rush of GRs (government resolutions)” seen over the past few days, which it termed as “suspicious”.Between June 20 and 23, the departments have issued 182 GRs, while on June 17, 107 such GRs were passed. These orders can be found on the government’s official website. Although Shinde’s rebellion became public on June 21 morning, his growing discomfort had been sensed by the Sena’s allies NCP and Congress. Since the ruling partners had sensed what was coming, the departments controlled by these parties went on a spree to issue the GRs, sources said.The water supply and sanitation department, headed by Sena’s Gulabrao Patil, issued over 84 GRs on June 17. Most of the orders were pertaining to sanction of funds, administrative approvals and for salaries of staff working on various water supply schemes. Patil was among the last Sena legislators who joined the rebel camp headed by Shinde by reaching in Guwahati.June 17 was a Friday – the last working day of the week – and MLC elections took place on Monday. During the June 20 and 23 period, the least number of GRs – 28 – were issued on Monday. On the following day, 66 GRs were issued. In the past two days – on June 22 and 23 – the government has issued 44 and 43 orders, respectively.As per the data, since Monday, the departments controlled by NCP and Congress went on a spree as over 70 per cent of the 182 orders were issued. The departments such as social justice, water resources, skill development, housing development, finance and home, being headed by the NCP, have issued maximum number of GRs.Some GRs were issued by the Congress-controlled departments such as tribal development, revenue, PWD, school education, OBC and fisheries. The soil and conservation department, handled by Independent MLA and Minister Shankarrao Gadakh, passed nearly 20 orders.During the last four days, only a couple of GRs from the departments controlled by Sena were issued. The GRs were issued by the industries department, Marathi language handled by the outgoing minister Subhash Desai and also tourism department helmed by Aaditya Thackeray. But apart from these three, no other departments handled by the Sena issue any GR.A couple of GRs were issued by the tribal development department controlled by Congress, which are cumulatively worth over Rs 1,000 crore. The finance department, controlled by Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, issued a GR increasing the local area development funds to Rs 319 crore.In a letter to Koshyari, BJP’s Darekar said, “Some 160 government resolutions were issued by the MVA in the last 48 hours, which looks suspicious. I request you to intervene in this matter and put a curb on it.”The BJP leader also alleged that there was a plan to transfer some key officials in the state, including those from the home department.A top bureaucrat said, “Some IAS officers are not coming to the Mantralaya, as they do not want to be a part of such decisions that can attract controversy later.”–With PTI inputs
A senior BJP leader on Friday urged Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari to not let the Maharashtra government pass decisions in haste when the state government is facing a "crisis"."While the political situation in the state is of extreme instability, the chief minister has expressed his willingness to resign... Under these circumstances there has been a spate of indiscriminate decisions taken by the government," BJP leader Pravin Darekar said in a letter to the Governor. "In the last 48 hours, around 160 government resolutions have been issued. In the name of development such projects are being cleared." Darekar wrote, "In the last two and a half years, the MVA government has not done anything, but now suddenly they have gone on a spree to clear projects. This is extremely suspicious and serious and it needs your intervention."Darekar's letter is significant as it is the only official BJP move since the Shiv Sena rebellion began. While the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs were first housed in BJP-ruled Gujarat, and then in Assam-- where the BJP is in power--the BJP has been trying to distance itself from the current Sena crisis. On Friday, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil reiterated that the party has nothing to do with the crisis.Referring to NCP chief Sharad Pawar's claim on Thursday that the BJP had engineered the Sena rebellion, Patil said, "He has a right to speak and he is exercising it. However, we have no connection with the current impasse. We have repeatedly said that the MVA government would fall because of its own contradictions and we will not try to bring it down." On Friday, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, when asked about Darekar's letter, said there is nothing wrong as the MVA government is still in power. "The government is still in power, it will continue to work, and there is nothing wrong with what is being done."On rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde having the majority of MLAs on his side, Pawar said, "He (Shinde) is saying that he is part of the Shiv Sena. We have a Shiv Sena leader as the chief minister. The government is being supported by the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP. So we are still in power."
Mamata Banerjee said it's an unfortunate fact that federal structure has been totally demolished by BJP.Kolkata: Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday flayed the BJP for trying to “topple” the MVA government in that state in an “unethical and unconstitutional” manner.She said the saffron party has deliberately chosen to "disturb" the Maharashtra government at a time when the presidential polls are approaching."It's an unfortunate fact that the federal structure has been totally demolished by the BJP-led central government. They are attempting to topple the Maharashtra government in an unethical and unconstitutional manner,” Ms Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.Describing the situation in Maharashtra as "shocking", Ms Banerjee said, "Where is democracy heading to? If a democratic government bulldozes democracy, how will justice prevail? We want justice for people, for the electoral mandate and for Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra CM).” In what seems to be an apparent bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (MVA) in Maharashtra, dissident legislators of Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling coalition, left for Surat on Tuesday, where they had camped for the day, before flying to Guwahati in a chartered aircraft.This is perhaps the first time MLAs from a western state were flown to a northeastern state, following their rebellion against the party leadership.The exact number of rebel legislators that moved to Guwahati could not be confirmed, but the flight reportedly carried 89 passengers, including the crew.The Trinamool Congress supremo also asked the BJP to send the MLAs to Bengal instead, where they will be extended good hospitality."Why are you disturbing the Assam government when they are facing floods? Send them (the MLAs) to Bengal and we will extend good hospitality and protect democracy, too," she said.Stating that leaders of opposition parties were being summoned by the CBI and ED, Banerjee claimed that at least 200 TMC activists have been asked to appear by the central agencies “though they are not accused”."Today, you (the BJP) are ruling (at the Centre) and that is why you are using money power, muscle power and mafia power... Do not finish democracy like this. Do not break political parties using money or the ED and CBI,” the chief minister said.After Maharashtra they will try to topple other governments as well, she asserted.The TMC chief also alleged that voters were “tortured” during the by-elections to four assembly constituencies in Tripura on Thursday.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com“They (the BJP) did not allow people to vote today," Ms Banerjee claimed. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NEW DELHI: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused the BJP and the Centre of attempting to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra to form its own government and get the numbers for the upcoming presidential election. The leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha said the BJP has been making similar attempts in the past to topple non-Congress governments across the country and one has seen this happen in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur in the past. Kharge said he has held talks with Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and others and they want that the rebels return to Mumbai and raise their grievances before the chief minister and the Shiv Sena chief who will resolve their issues. He alleged that the BJP has played havoc with non-BJP governments in the past and they are trying the same thing in Maharashtra also. The BJP is using ED, CBI and other agencies to destabilise non-BJP governments and that is what is being done in Maharashtra, the Congress leader alleged. "The BJP government is making attempts to bring down the Maharashtra government. The BJP first took the Shiv Sena MLAs to Surat in Gujarat and then to Guwahati, which has BJP governments. "One should understand that this is the game being played by the BJP and it wants to bring down the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra which was formed by the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP to ensure development in the state," he told reporters. The MVA government is functioning strongly but the BJP is making all attempts to destabilise it, Kharge said, alleging the BJP wants that there should not be any non-BJP government anywhere in the country. "I can say this with confidence that the Central government and the BJP are responsible for destabilising the Maharashtra government," he said. "The BJP also wants its numbers in the presidential election. It wants to topple the Maharashtra government during the Presidential election to get the numbers." Terming it an internal matter of the Shiv Sena, Kharge said, "We will together fight and strengthen the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. We are ready to offer any kind of help in this regard." He said his party is going to stand with Maha Vikas Aghadi and "we want to work together". Asked about Sanjay Raut's statement that they are ready to move out of the MVA government provided the rebels return to Mumbai, the Congress leader said, "The MVA government will be there and the rebels will return and I hope they will resolve their issues by bringing them before the Shiv Sena chief and CLP leader Uddhav Thackeray." "Their issues will be resolved soon after their return to Mumbai and that is why Shiv Sena leaders want them to return and raise their issues before the Sena leadership. If they are not satisfied then that is another question," he said. Whether or not they will come out of the MVA government, Kharge said one must remember that the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed to ensure Maharashtra's development all the three parties are working towards it.
KOLKATA: Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday flayed the BJP for trying to “topple” the MVA government in that state in an “unethical and unconstitutional” manner. She said the saffron party has deliberately chosen to "disturb" the Maharashtra government at a time when the presidential polls are approaching. "It's an unfortunate fact that the federal structure has been totally demolished by the BJP-led central government. They are attempting to topple the Maharashtra government in an unethical and unconstitutional manner,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat. Describing the situation in Maharashtra as "shocking", Banerjee said, "We want justice for people, for the electoral mandate and for Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra CM).” In what seems to be an apparent bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (MVA) in Maharashtra, dissident legislators of Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling coalition, left for Surat on Tuesday, where they had camped for the day, before flying to Guwahati in a chartered aircraft. This is perhaps the first time MLAs from a western state were flown to a northeastern state, following their rebellion against the party leadership. The exact number of rebel legislators that moved to Guwahati could not be confirmed, but the flight reportedly carried 89 passengers, including the crew. The Trinamool Congress supremo asked the BJP to send the MLAs to Bengal instead, where they will be extended good hospitality. "Why are you disturbing the Assam government when they are facing floods? Send them (the MLAs) to Bengal and we will extend good hospitality and take care of democracy, too," she said.
Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve said that it's an internal matter of Shiv Sena. (File)Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve said on Wednesday that the political crisis in Maharashtra was Shiv Sena's internal matter and the BJP is not staking claim to form a government in the state.Mr Danve, who met party leader Devendra Fadnavis, told the media here that no Shiv Sena MLA is in touch with the party."We haven't spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is Shiv Sena's internal matter. BJP has nothing to do with this. We're not staking claim to form the government," said Mr Danve who is Minister of State for Railways.Amidst the intensifying political crisis in Maharashtra, rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said that it was essential for the party for its survival to get out of the "unnatural alliance" and asserted that only the constituent parties benefitted during the tenure of the coalition government in the state.Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose government is facing a crisis due to revolt within his party, said on Wednesday that he was willing to give his resignation to party MLAs who can take it to the Raj Bhavan.He said he was also willing to quit as party chief if there is a demand from party workers.Noting that a section of party MLAs was gunning for his ouster, he said instead of going to Surat, they could have conveyed their feelings to him. Mr Thackeray said it is a matter of shame for him if "even a single MLA" is against him.Mr Thackeray said he was willing to resign only on demand of party MLAs.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe crisis faced by Shiv Sena-led government deepened on Wednesday as Eknath Shinde claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
As Shiv Sena is firefighting an in-house revolt, its former ally BJP is geared up to explore all options to return to power in Maharashtra. While BJP reckons that a verticle split in the Sena could work to its advantage, its leaders, who are closely watching the crisis unfold have, however, decided to tread the path to power with utmost care as they are wary of a repeat of the party’s failed attempt to form the government in 2019.“We have in place a plan A and a plan B,” said a BJP leader. “As per our first plan, if Sena were to split vertically, BJP will stand a good chance to align with the rebel group and form the government. The catch here is that Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde will have to retain two-third majority to his side. Alternatively, we plan to use the divide in Sena to benefit electorally in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.”Party leaders also said that since the Monsoon Session of the state legislature will begin on July 18, the BJP will then move a no-confidence motion against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. “The floor test will expose the numbers enjoyed by the ruling MVA,” said a leader.Shinde is likely to retain at least 37 of the 55 Sena MLAs, said sources. “If Shinde succeeds, it will open the doors for merger with the BJP, albeit subject to his decision,” the source said.The BJP, with 106 MLAs, is the single largest party and has the support of 27 additional MLAs, including from smaller parties and Independents. Thus, BJP with 133 votes and the 37 rebel Sena MLAs will increase its numbers to 170, sources added. The required half-way mark is 145.During the recent Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, had said, “Our strategy is to exploit the unrest within the MVA. The BJP is going to provide angry MLAs across Congress, NCP, Sena smaller parties and Independents a credible alternative.”A BJP MLA said, “The revolt within the Sena has put before us two organisations – Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena versus Eknath Shinde’s Sena… Now, since Uddhav Thackeray has already betrayed BJP after the 2019 Assembly polls, we have more options in Shinde’s Sena.” On November 23, 2019, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had sworn in Fadnavis as the chief minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. The government, however, lasted only for around 80 hours. On November 28, 2019, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister.State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “In 2019, Sena and BJP had fought elections as allies. But Uddhav Thackeray betrayed BJP to join hands with Congress and NCP. The decision was not acceptable to a majority of its members. But Thackeray kept reassuring them that the three-party coalition was temporary, aimed to teach BJP a lesson, and later, he will join hands with the BJP.” “Now, majority of Sena members reckon that they require BJP’s support to kept their constituencies intact. They cannot have any alliance with Congress and NCP in the next elections.”“The BJP and the Sena were natural allies. How can Sena members accept an alliance with opponents like Congress and NCP just for the CM’s post,” said a BJP leader.
Team Uddhav Thackeray has sought disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAsMumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a late-night open Zoom call with reporters and the public strongly condemned the way his party's MLA, Eknath Shinde, and 21 other rebels sneaked out from Mumbai on Monday night, eventually to surface at a five-star hotel in Assam's Guwahati, far from home. The number of rebel MLAs since the Monday night 'escape' has swelled to nearly 40.Mr Thackeray said the Sena's allies Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, and the Congress are standing strong together, but what hurt him the most was the stab on the back by their own. "We were stabbed in the back by our own," Mr Thackeray said, referring to how the Sena MLAs sneakily took a flight from Mumbai to Surat on Monday night.The full gravity of the crisis was revealed the next night when the rebel MLAs were seen at Surat airport, preparing to leave for Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam. They were seen escorted by Gujarat Police hurriedly. Once in Guwahati, they were escorted by the state police all the way to the hotel."NDTV has shown you what happened at the airport...They don't have two-third numbers, so they will be disqualified. They are depending on the BJP," Mr Thackeray said in the Zoom call on Friday night.The rebels are still at the 196-room five-star hotel in Guwahati, fully booked for a week, suggesting the MLAs are for the long haul.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comBut the Maharashtra Deputy Speaker is likely to issue disqualification notices to 16 rebel MLAs including Mr Shinde, as sought by Team Thackeray, and the proceedings which may take place on Monday require the rebel MLAs to be present in Mumbai, sources have said.Team Thackeray is unlikely to seek more rebel MLAs for disqualification since that would bring the halfway mark down, which would benefit the BJP. Sena's play appears to be to go for disqualifying a few rebels to discourage the rest from facing elections, hence forcing them to return from Assam.
Mumbai: Breaking the silence on the ongoing political crisis in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addressed the state via Facebook live. In a sensational announcement, the chief minister said that he is ready to give his resignation if his rebel MLAs come and tell him directly. “I am ready to give my resignation to the MLAs, they should come here and take my resignation to Raj Bhavan. I am ready to leave the post of Shiv Sena party head also, not on the saying of others but my workers,” CM Thackeray said.Also Read - Maharashtra Political Crisis: Rebel Shiv Sena Leader Eknath Shinde to Address Media Shortly
Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, underlined today that his party Shiv Sena "will never give up Hindutva" in his first address since a rebel crisis exploded in his party two days ago. Here are top 5 points from his big speech to Sena members:I have kept letter of my resignation as chief minister ready; willing to resign as Chief Minister this very moment.Will quit as chief minister and leave official residence if even one of the disgruntled MLAs says he doesn't want me as Chief MinisterSharad Pawar and Kamal Nath phoned me saying they want me to continue as Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray.Getting calls from MLAs who have gone with Eknath Shinde; they are claiming that they were forcibly taken away.Shiv Sena can't be separated from Hindutva. Comments
Maharashtra Political Crisis: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray might offer to resign after a Cabinet meeting at 5 PM on Wednesday, sources told Zee News. If reports are to be believed, the Chief Minister will meet party MPs and MLAs after the cabinet meeting later in the day wherein he may announce to step down from his post. This comes after Shiv Sena’s dissident leader Eknath Shinde asserted that 40 MLAs from Maharashtra have accompanied him to Guwahati in Assam. The Shiv Sena legislators have rebelled against the party, plunging the tripartite MVA government, comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress, into a crisis. Earlier, the MLAs were taken to Surat in Gujarat from Mumbai on Tuesday, and the decision to shift them to Guwahati was taken on security grounds, said reports.Also Read - Two Shiv Sena MLAs Return From Eknath Shinde Camp, To Support Uddhav: ReportsAmid the intensifying political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today hinted at the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. “The ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra is heading to the dissolution of Vidhan Sabha,” said Raut in a Twitter post. Also Read - Uddhav Thackeray to Quit? Here's What's at Stake & How Numbers Stack Up in Maharashtra Assembly | EXPLAINEDMeanwhile, back-to-back meetings of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP are taking place in Mumbai over the rapidly changing political developments in the state. Also Read - As Shinde Ditches Uddhav, MVA Looks Upto Sharad Pawar-Kamal Nath Meet | LIVE UpdatesWhile Maharashtra Cabinet meeting is schedued later in the day, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray held discussions virtually around noon as the latter tested positive for COVID.
Digging in his heels, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday expressed determination to fight the political crisis gripping his government and took on cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, saying the rebel leader’s son is a Lok Sabha MP and should his son Aaditya Thackeray not also grow politically as both sides showed no signs of backing down to break the four-day-old impasse.Thackeray said Shinde was given the key department of urban development which is usually headed by the chief minister of the day and publicly blamed the opposition BJP for the rebellion in the Shiv Sena which has threatened the stability of his Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government which also consists of the NCP and the Congress.In a virtual address to party functionaries, the Shiv Sena president said he was not worried over the defection by MLAs as he considers them “fruits and flowers of a tree which have been blighted by disease”.“You make take the fruits and flowers of tree. But till the roots (rank and file) are strong, I need not worry. The roots can never be uprooted. Every season, new leaves and fruits blossom. Leaves blighted by disease need to be removed and thrown. Consider the present situation in this context,” Thackeray told the party rank and file.He said he may have moved out of the official residence of the chief minister, but his determination to fight the crisis remains intact.”I have given up the temptation by moving out the chief minister’s official bungalow (Varsha) but not my determination to fight back,” he asserted and made it clear he is not after power.Thackeray said Shinde told him sometime back that Sena MLAs feel the party should go back with former ally BJP.“What kind of Shiv Sainiks are you? Don’t you feel agitated by the BJP’s use and throw policy and when baseless charges are made against Matoshree (the private residence of the Thackerays in suburban Bandra),” he said.“The department of urban development, which is currently with Shinde, had been always with the chief minister. Your son (Shrikant Shinde) can be an MP, but should not Aaditya also grow politically,” he asked.Shrikant Shinde is the Lok Sabha MP from Kalyan, while the CM’s son, Aaditya Thackeray, is a state cabinet minister holding the environment and tourism portfolios. Hitting out at Shinde, who is camping in Assam with rebel MLAs, Thackeray said, “He was made a minister twice after Balasaheb Thackeray’s death (in 2012). Twice we were in power (after 2012). He was given the departments which are normally kept by the chief minister himself. You should keep Thackeray name out of your politics and see if you can survive. One can never detach the Thackerays from the Shiv Sena,” he said.The party has suffered electoral reverses several times, but victory or defeat depends on one’s state of mind, he said, adding “Let’s consider we have no one with us. we have to create a new Shiv Sena.” “Consider we are starting from the scratch. If you feel you have better prospects going with the rebels you can leave. I will not stop you. The (rebel) MLAs (camping) in Guwahati are prisoners. We have to see how we can bring them back,” the CM said.Thackeray offered to quit as the Sena president if Shiv Sainiks feel he is incapable of running the organisation.“I am not blackmailing you. If you feel I am incompetent to run the party, I am ready to quit (as Sena president). Chief Minister’s post is inconsequential for me,” he said as the functionaries shouted slogans in his support.The CM said for Sena founder Bal Thackeray, the party was more dear to him than him (Uddhav Thackeray).“If I am incapable of running the party, even Balasaheb wouldn’t have forgiven me,” he said.Thackeray said in the last two years, he battled his own ill health and also presided over the state’s fight again the COVID-19 pandemic.“After the pandemic surge reduced, around Diwali (last year) my spinal cord was compressed. I could not stand or walk. An MRI revealed my spinal cord was compressed for which an urgent surgery was required.“As I was recovering, my body movements stopped right from my neck to the toe for which I underwent another surgery. The opponents thought this was the right time to strike since they felt I may never stand on my feet again,” Thackeray said.Maintaining a defiant posture, Shinde claimed the group led by him was the “real Shiv Sena”, and also hit back, saying he and his supporters will not be intimidated by disqualification threats. In a series of tweets posted late Thursday night, Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati along with 37 Sena legislators and 10 independents, said as per the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, a party whip is issued for the legislature proceedings and not for attending a meeting.The Shiv Sena led by Thackeray has sought the disqualification of 12 legislators from the Shinde camp for not attending the legislature party meeting on Wednesday. A day after claiming that a “powerful national party” was supporting his group of MLAs in the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra, Shinde on Friday said no national party is in contact with them.Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut admitted that the party’s numbers in the Legislative Assembly have dwindled, but expressed confidence that the rebel MLAs will support the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) combine during a floor test.The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena suffered yet another setback as one more party MLA, Dilip Lande, joined the camp of rebel legislators.Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe, who is also the Legislative Council deputy chairperson and addressed the party functionaries, said the rebel MLA group will have to merge with a political party to escape disqualification from the Assembly.The rebels can not use the name of Shiv Sena, she said.
With the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra feeling threatened following a rebellion in the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde, several ministers are hurriedly clearing files and issuing government resolutions, prompting Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Council Pravin Darekar to write to Governor B S Koshyari.Darekar is an MLC from the BJP which is allegedly supporting the Eknath Shinde faction in the Shiv Sena.In his letter to the governor, Darekar has said that there is political instability in Maharashtra and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has left his official residence Varsha. He has also expressed willingness to resign. He alerted the governor that more than 160 government resolutions have been issued in the last 48 hours and alleged that the MVA government, which was inactive for the last two and a half years, has suddenly sanctioned works worth crores. Claiming that this arouses suspicion, Darekar sought the governor’s intervention.A top bureaucrat said some IAS officers have not come to the Mantralaya as they do not want to be a part of decisions that can attract controversy later. The secretaries of urban development department, agriculture and water supply are allegedly happy because Shinde, Dada Bhuse and Gulabrao Patil are in Guwahati along with the other rebel MLAs.In the state Cabinet held on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar asked the officers to issue government resolutions and not wait for the next Cabinet meeting for the minutes to get confirmed. Usually, when a government is on the verge of collapse, ministers rush to get files cleared.A senior BJP leader said once the saffron party takes over, the decisions would be put on hold and scrutinised.
Uddhav Thackeray has the support of less than 13 MLAsMumbai: The battle for Shiv Sena's control has moved from the streets to the drawing room, where the legal teams of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Sena rebel MLA leader Eknath Shinde are working to make a claim as the rightful owner of Maharashtra's ruling party.In the Sena's first tangible move against Mr Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati and claims to have the support of nearly 40 Sena MLAs and 10 others, Maharashtra's Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal has accepted Ajay Choudhari as the Sena's Legislature Party leader by replacing Mr Shinde.The Deputy Speaker rejected a suggestion by the Mr Shinde camp to appoint Bharat Gogawala as the Sena's whip.Pressing on his attack, Mr Thackeray has asked the Deputy Speaker to disqualify Mr Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs, who are camping in a five-star hotel in BJP-ruled Assam.After the Deputy Speaker issued notice to the rebel MLAs on the disqualification plea, two independents rose to defend the Mr Shinde camp by directly going for the Deputy Speaker - they moved a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker Mr Zirwal in a bid to stop the MLAs from being disqualified.Mr Shinde, supported by the rebel MLAs, has said he would go to the Election Commission and claim the Shiv Sena as belonging to them as he has the numbers.The Sena's two allies in Maharashtra - Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, and the Congress - have said they will stick with Mr Thackeray come what may. Sena leaders have said their party is strongly focused on cadre. While MLAs come and go, the cadre will remain with Mr Thackeray, they said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"We're Shiv Sainik and will fight and will win. What they (rebel MLAs) are doing is not legal and politically not feasible. It's not happening for the first time with Shiv Sena. Earlier also it had happened but all in vain. This time also it will not succeed," Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said.The Sena filed to disqualify the rebel MLAs in a last-ditch attempt to save the ruling alliance. Team Thackeray is unlikely to seek more rebel MLAs for disqualification since that would bring the halfway mark down, which would benefit the BJP. Sena's play appears to be to go for disqualifying a few rebels to discourage the rest from facing elections, hence forcing them to return from Assam, where the BJP's north-east election strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma is the Chief Minister.