In a significant development, Maharashtra minister Uday Samant landed in Guwahati, Sunday, and joined the rebel MLAs. He is the ninth minister to join the Eknath Shinde camp. That leaves only one state cabinet minister in the Uddhav camp: Aaditya.
Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Thackeray has dismissed Shinde’s assertion that he will stake claim for the party symbol. In an open challenge to rebels, Aaditya Thackeray asked them to “defect and fight” the elections. Meanwhile, incidents of arson and vandalism were reported from Nanded, Aurangabad, Pune and Thane districts in Maharashtra.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence. The Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Congress and NCP have reinstated their support to Uddhav Thackeray as the rebellion brews.
In the allegations and counter charges, Aaditya Thackeray has also questioned the BJP’s support by way of access to “safe havens in BJP-ruled states” and the post-midnight meet between former Maharashtra CM Fadnavis and rebel leader, Shinde, on June 24-June 25.
The junior minister also divulged an outline of the dissent brewing whereby, “Shinde was offered the post of CM on May 30.” However, the fact that he chose to rebel instead, as Aaditya Thackeray put it, questions his intent.
“Does he want a Sena government in Sena land or is he part of a larger conspiracy scripted by the BJP?” he questioned.