Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who arrived in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam early this morning, claimed he has support of 46 MLAs – 40 from his party and 6 Independents.
“I have support of 46 MLAs including Independents,” he told NDTV.
Denying that he has any plan to switch parties, Eknath Shinde said that he is not breaking away from Shiv Sena and will carry forward the ideology of Balasaheb Thackery.
‘We have not left Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and will not leave it. We believe in Hindutva,” he said.
The MLAs were received at Guwahati airport by BJP leaders Pallab Lochan Das and Sushanta Borgohain Shinde, while Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was seen at the five-star hotel prepared for them.
Before leaving for Assam, Eknath Shinde and other party MLAs had been camping in a Surat hotel in Gujarat – another BJP-ruled state.
The move to shift them to Guwahati came shortly after his telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Reports suggest the MLAs were airlifted to Assam by the BJP to avoid any further confrontation with Sena leaders.
As the government stands deep in crisis, Shiv Sena has housed its remaining MLAs in different hotels in Mumbai. Mr Shinde was sacked as party’s Chief Whip on Tuesday afternoon, he retaliated by dropping Shiv Sena from his Twitter bio.