maharashtra political crisis: Shiv Sena asks chair to disqualify MLAs who did not attend legislature party meeting

Mumbai: A Shiv Sena delegation on Thursday met deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal to seek disqualification of MLAs from the Shinde camp who were not present during a legislature meeting called by the party on Wednesday. The developments came even as the Sena asked rebel MLAs to return to Maharashtra and offered to discuss their demand that the party leave the MVA.

The MVA seemed confident that the MLAs would change their mind once they returned to the state. On Thursday evening NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the Thackeray government would overcome the challenge.

“I am confident that when the confidence motion is tabled, we would have a majority. I don’t think that within the assembly premises, the BJP leaders can guide them,” Pawar said. The assertion by Pawar and other MVA leaders that the MLAs would change their mind once in the state has unnerved some rebel MLAs. At least some of the rebels were not enthused to attend a floor test with MVA still in power.

The mood in the MVA was combative since Thursday morning after the NCP insisted that the MVA could prove its majority in a floor test.

The Sena also tried to win back some of the rebels. “You are talking about Hindutva and you have your opinion on the MVA. The Shiv Sena is ready to leave the MVA … If all MLAs feel that we should fall out of the MVA, then the party would consider it. We only ask that the MLAs tell this to Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.

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Show the courage to come back first and tell it to Uddhav and let’s have discussions on it. Come back in 24 hours, “Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said. The Shinde camp retorted that it was an attempt was to get the MLAs back to the state.” Let them first quit the MVA and only then would we have discussions. None of us are willing to come back to Maharashtra as of now, “a person from the Shinde camp said.

The Congress too accused the BJP of engineering the Sena rebellion to topple the government, while most BJP party leaders avoided commenting on the issue other than calling it an ‘internal issue’ of the Sena. The Congress said it was clear that the BJP was behind the Sena turmoil.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said, “if the government has become a minority, why is the BJP so silent? I believe they don’t have the numbers. Hence, they are quiet. The numbers are still in favor of Uddhav but the BJP is trying to destabilize the government, “he said.

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