Rebel Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday arrived at Guwahati along with 42 other Shiv Sena MLAs.
The Shiv Sena leader, who is now at the centre of a deepening political crisis in the state, said, “A total of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs are present here (in Guwahati). We will carry Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva,”.
Shinde, along with other Shiv Sena MLAs, was camping at a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat on Tuesday after suspected cross-voting in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five seats, in a major blow to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance.
The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs took a chartered flight in the wee hours of Wednesday to reach Guwahati. They were received by BJP MLA Sushanta Borgohain and BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das at the Guwahati airport.
Before leaving Surat, Shinde said, “We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and will not leave it. We have been following Balasaheb’s Hindutva and will carry it further.”
Amid the political crisis, a Shiv Sena delegation comprising Chief Minister Udhhav Thackeray’s close aides Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak met Shinde in Surat on Tuesday.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut alleged that efforts were being made to topple the MVA government in Maharashtra as some MLAs, including Shinde, had gone incommunicado on Tuesday. He said that Shiv Sena MLAs were in Surat and they were not being allowed to leave.