A Game Of Political Chess In Maharashtra

Source: News24

After back-to-back shock defeats in the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council Elections, the ground under the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA) feet has started to tremble, giving the leadership of the fragile coalition government sleepless nights.

Eknath Shinde, the Shiv Sena strongman of Thane-Konkan belt and the current Minister of Urban Developmemt and Public Affairs, rebelled against the leadership and camped first in Surat, Gujarat, along with 27 Shiv Sena Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) out of a total of 56. However, only 14 MLAs were present when Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery called an emergency meeting yesterday afternoon at Matoshree. If this holds true then more than 40 MLAs might be rebelling against the ruling dispensation. 

Meanwhile the top leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at both the state and central level are in touch with the rebel MLAs. Amit Shah and JP Nadda had a meeting with Devendra Fadnavis in Delhi yesterday afternoon about the fast-evolving political situation in Maharashtra. 

The leader of the rebels Eknath Shinde tweeted:- It is essential to get out of the unnatural front for the survival of the party and Shiv Sainiks.

With these many MLAs rebelling, the numbers now don't seem to be on the side of the MVA government. BJP can topple this MVA Government anytime now. The next week or two will decide the fate of the present government in Maharashtra.

Late in the night these MLAs were flown from Surat to Guwahati. This move makes strategic sense for the BJP as Assam being far away from Maharashtra means that the Shiv Sena high command cannot contact its rebel MLAs. 

As per the claims made by Eknath Shinde yesterday morning he has support of 46 MLAs of Shiv Sena with the additional support of few MLCs and MPs. 

All these MLAs are ready to support BJP. Now it remains to be seen how situation plays out, whether MLAs resign and fresh elections are declared or will Maharashtra come under Presidential Rule.

Written by: Megh Shah

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