Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde along with four dissident legislators on Wednesday morning visited the famed Kamakhya temple in Guwahati and offered prayers. Shinde along with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs have been camping in a hotel here for over a week now, triggering a political crisis in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government.
Shinde who claims the support of over 50 MLAs had on Tuesday stated that he will return to Mumbai soon and "take Balasaheb Thackeray's legacy forward." "I will return to Mumbai tomorrow. I prayed for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra here at the temple," Shinde said after visiting the temple. The rebel leader also said that he will take part in the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly.
"I will take part in the floor test and follow all protocols," he said. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has in a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asked him to face a floor test and prove the majority by convening a special session of the state legislature at 11am on June 30. According to the letter the floor test should conclude by 5 pm. Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis had accompanied by 8 independent MLAs on Tuesday submitted a letter to the Maharashtra Governor demanding an immediate floor test.
"We have given a letter to the Maharashtra Governor demanding an immediate floor test," Devendra Fadnavis said. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Tuesday appealed to the rebel MLAs to come for talks. "Don't fall prey to anyone's missteps. The honour given to you by Shiv Sena cannot be found anywhere. If you come forward and speak, we will sort out the issues. As Shiv Sena party chief and family head, I am still worried about you. Come here for a dialogue," he said. The political tussle in Maharashtra between Shiv Sena and the rebel group led by Eknath Shinde has now reached the Supreme Court. The pleas filed by the breakaway camp challenge the disqualification proceedings against Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs.
"Rebel Maharashtra MLAs likely to stay for more days at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. The hotel was booked till July 5 and the booking can now be extended as per requirement," sources said on Monday. On Monday, a separate plea was filed by Shinde in the top court regarding the safety of the legislators who have challenged party chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala heard the pleas on Monday.
"This is the win of the Hindutva of Balasaheb Thackeray and the ideas of Anand Dighe," Eknath Shinde tweeted after the Supreme Court deferred the disqualification proceedings of rebel MLAs till July 11. Notably, the national executive meeting of the Shiv Sena on June 25 passed six resolutions giving absolute rights to Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray to take action against the rebels to bring the revolt within party under control. The meeting was called in the wake of Sena MLA Eknath Shinde's rebellion, which has not only destabilised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government in the State but also poses a risk of the Thackerays losing control of the party.