Eknath Shinde reiterated his demand to break off with the NCP and Congress to form the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI — After Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray vacated the official residence in Mumbai, Shiv Sena is now directly engaging with the rebel MLAs and talking to each of them through emissaries but with no hopes.
A senior functionary of the Sena said, “The magnitude of the rebellion is such that there are grim chances of survival, but we are engaging them and there are regular talks.”
The Sena leader said the only hope is that the party thinks that many MLAs don’t want to go into election, so if they are disqualified for violating the party line they have to seek re-election. If half the MLAs return, then the government could survive.
The Sena rebels are swelling, as the leader pointed out, who also added that no one could anticipate Shinde to do this as he was a trusted man of the top leadership.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray late on Wednesday vacated his official residence ‘Varsha’ at Malabar Hill to return to his private home ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra along with his family.
The move came hours after his emotional appeal to the rebel group of Shiv Sena MLAs, led by Minister Eknath Shinde, that he (Thackeray) was ready to quit both as a CM and as party President, provided the rebels meet him.
Thackeray — who tested Covid-19 positive the previous morning — also said that he had kept his resignation letter ready and any of the rebels could go and hand it over to the Governor.
On his part, Shinde responded by saying that the steps would have to be taken for Hindutva and reiterated his demand to break off with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress to form the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The crisis shows no sign of defusing despite efforts of the MVA allies, including the offer to quit by the Chief Minister or even his (Uddhav Thackrey) decision to vacate his official residence. — IANS