Maharashtra political crisis: Eknath Shinde has support of 42 MLAs, to release list of his camp this afternoon

There are reports claiming that Eknath Shinde camp, lodging in a hotel in Guwahati, will be staking claim to the Shiv Sena election symbol

Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde with other MLAs at a hotel, in Guwahati. ANI

Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde will be releasing the list of MLAs supporting him around 2 pm on Thursday afternoon. There are also reports claiming that the Shinde camp will be staking claim to the Shiv Sena election symbol.

According to sources to news agency, there are total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs present with Shinde at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. This includes 34 MLAs from Shiv Sena and eight Independent MLAs.

On Thursday morning, three more Shiv Sena MLAs – Deepak Kesakar (MLA from Sawantwadi), Mangesh Kudalkar (Chembur) and Sada Sarvankar (Dadar) – left for Guwahati in Assam to join Shinde camp.

On Wednesday evening, four MLAs, including Maharashtra minister Gulabrao Patil, had flown to Guwahati.

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

Shinde said that though the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.

As the Maharashtra’s political crisis continues to intensify, a meeting is underway between NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, ministers Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad and party leader Sunil Tatkare at the residence of the NCP chief.

Talking to media on Thursday morning, Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that about 20 MLAs are in touch with the Uddhav Thackeray leadership.

“I won’t talk about any camp, I will talk about my party. Our party is strong even to this day… About 20 MLAs are in touch with us…when they come to Mumbai, you will get to know…will soon be revealed, in what circumstances, pressure these MLAs left us,” Raut said.

Attacking the Sena rebels, Raut said: “He who leaves the party under ED pressure is not a true Balasaheb Bhakt. We’re true Balasaheb Bhakts…even we’ve ED pressure but will continue to stand with Uddhav Thackeray…When floor test happens everyone will see who’s positive and who is negative.”

With inputs from agencies

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