Three more Shiv Sena MLAs leave for Guwahati to support Eknath Shinde faction
Amid the political crisis in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, three more Shiv Sena MLAs are understood to have reached Guwahati in Assam on Thursday to join the rebel camp led by cabinet minister Eknath Shinde.
Deepak Kesakar (MLA from Sawantwadi), Mangesh Kudalkar (Chembur) and Sada Sarvankar (Dadar) took a morning flight from Mumbai to Guwahati, a close associate of Shinde said.
On Wednesday evening, four MLAs, including Maharashtra minister Gulabrao Patil, had flown to Guwahati.
Shinde will consult the MLAs with him and then decide when to return to Mumbai, his associate said.
After reaching Guwahati on Wednesday, Shinde had claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents.
He had given a letter to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's deputy speaker, signed by 35 Sena MLAs, replacing Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena legislature party.
Shinde has maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night vacated his official residence, hours after reaching out to Shiv Sena dissidents with an emotional appeal and offering to quit, even as rebel leader Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of the "unnatural" ruling alliance MVA, and claimed the support of "enough number" of MLAs.
The CM had moved out of 'Varsha', his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshree, the Thackeray family's private bungalow in suburban Bandra, amid high drama as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde, who is camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.