With Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde unable to be contacted after the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections and he apparently camping in Gujarat along with some party MLAs, a Congress minister in the state unit on Tuesday claimed that The turmoil in Shiv Sena has been going on for almost a week.
However, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Chhagan Bhujbal said he does not think there is any threat to the Maharashtra Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The MVA consists of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
The Congress minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Shinde has the responsibility of the urban development department and wants to become the deputy chief minister.
“There has been turmoil in the Shiv Sena for almost a week now,” the leader said. The source said that since Monday evening there are reports that Shinde has “missed” along with 21 MLAs.
Sources said that Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has called a meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs on Tuesday for the same purpose.
Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress had contested two seats each in the Legislative Council elections on Monday. Congress’s Dalit leader Chandrakant Handore lost the election.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state won all the five seats it had contested.
A Congress minister said Handore’s defeat was a shock to the party. He claimed it was a “failure” of the Congress leadership in Maharashtra. He said the election results of the Legislative Council exposed the “division” in the state unit of the party.
“All the leaders need to sit together and analyze where the mistake happened,” he said, adding that the Congress was monitoring the developments in the Shiv Sena. He said Congress leaders are likely to meet Chief Minister Thackeray later in the day.
Meanwhile, Bhujbal told PTI that the MLAs of his party are with him. He said that he does not think there is any threat to the MVA government.