Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party is an ally of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, has made it clear his party stands with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in this hour of crisis. The Shiv Sena rebel group led by MLA Eknath Shinde has claimed it has 42 MLAs with them now, more than the 37 required to approach the Speaker for recognition as a faction, among other possible scenarios.
“We fully support Uddhav Thackeray ji. We will do everything to save the government,” Mr Pawar told reporters this evening.
The Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, led by Sharad Pawar and the Congress are monitoring what moves the rebel MLAs – who are camping in a hotel in BJP-ruled Assam’s Guwahati city – make today before working on a plan that could possibly save the Uddhav Thackeray government from disintegrating.
Mr Shinde, camping in Guwahati with around 41 MLAs, has demanded the Sena break its alliance with the Congress and the NCP, saying the Sena leaders suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition’s rule. The Guwahati hotel has been booked for a week, indicating they are prepared for the long haul.
The Congress has also said it will continue to support the Maha Vikas Aghadi, or MVA. “We (the Congress) formed the MVA with the Shiv Sena and the NCP to stop the BJP (from coming to power). Our support to the MVA continues,” Maharashtra Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan told reporters after a meeting of party MLAs to discuss the crisis.