Government on the verge of collapse in Maharashtra

Mumbai/Guwahati: Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Thursday reached the brink of collapse with the Shiv Sena rebels and the party indicated for the first time that it was ready to leave the alliance if the dissidents return.

The number of insurgents increased after seven more MLAs, led by state minister Eknath Shinde, flew from Maharashtra to Guwahati, where the dissidents camped for two days. The group now has 39 legislators, slightly higher than the 37 required to split without attracting disqualification under the anti-defection law.

As the Shiv Sena shed MLAs’ blood for the rebel faction, the party said for the first time that it was ready to consider leaving the ruling alliance if the dissidents come back and discuss it with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The MVA came together in 2019 when the Sena broke its 25-year-old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He said, ‘You say that you are a real Shiv Sainik and will not leave the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai within 24 hours and discuss this issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your request will be considered positively. Don’t write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp,” Sanjay Raut, who has been accused by some rebels of blocking access to Thackeray, told reporters.

The rebels rejected the offer, saying the alliance would have to be terminated before any discussion could begin about their return. Shinde had earlier called the alliance “unnatural” and said it needed to be scrapped for the Shiv Sena to survive. Meanwhile, the MVA’s ally Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party threw their weight behind the embattled Thackeray, who sought to quell public opinion by going ahead late Wednesday. CM’s residence Matoshree, his family home, the seat of Shiv Sena power and the residence of party founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “The fate of the MVA government will be decided in the assembly.”

[email protected]

subscribe to mint newspaper

, Enter a valid email

, Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!