Explained: Maharashtra’s Political Turmoil And Its Gujarat Connection 

| Updated: June 21, 2022 9:53 pm

Maharashtra’s politics is once again in trouble. CM Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi might just be on its way out, courtesy Operation Lotus. What started as a cross-voting in the MLC elections on Monday might just be the final nail in the coffin for the MVA government in Maharashtra. Will this hattrick attempt by the BJP succeed?

What started the Maha quake?

There is no smoke without fire. Some age-old sayings ring true always. A seasoned leader and Bala Sahib’s hand-picked Shiv Sainik, Eknath Shinde is suddenly in news as the possible reason why the Maha Vikas Aghadi government can end. His Brutus act was the cross-voting at the MLC, Monday which left the BJP with a half-mark to majority and the Opposition bereft of the clear edge.

So, why did he do it?

Well, murmurs were doing the rounds that he was miffed with rise of Aaditya Thackeray and Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut. “Till CM Thackeray brought in his son into the picture, Shinde was No 2 in the scheme of things. Then, suddenly for no lapse of his, he was side-lined and a young, inexperienced Aaditya was given the spotlight. Added, Sanjay Raut’s high-handedness irked Urban Development minister Shinde,” shares a party insider on conditions of anonymity.

But why does Maharashtra matter?

This Maha state holds 48 key Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 General Elections. The BJP is known to plan its moves well in advance and this was no random act. After toppling the government in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, the Lotus needed another pond to secure its spread. Maharashtra has been a shaky equation right from start and this is the third attempt at toppling the government.

What started on Monday evening with the Congress one vote loss has turned out to be a crucial factor. That one vote seems to have been the huge boulder thrown into a seemingly calm Maha Vikas Aghadi pond. The ripples have been growing bigger all through Tuesday.

Eknath Shinde took off to BJP-ruled Gujarat alongwith 22 of his band members

They have been “incommunicado” since Monday evening and reports have confirmed that Gujarat state BJP president C.R. Paatil paid the group a late-night visit. Things seem pretty set here. To make his point, Shinde let out two Tweets today. One, reminding how he Balasahib’s protégé and will not succumb to “non-Hindutva” ideals. Two, he removed Shiv Sena from his handle.

 List of Shiv Sena MLAs who came to Surat with Eknath Shinde:

1. Shahaji Bapu Patil

2. Mahesh Shinde Satara

3. Bharat Gogawale

4. Mahendra Devi

5. Mahesh Thorve

6. Vishwanath Bhoir

7. Sanjay Rathore

8. Sandipan Bhumre

9. Uday Singh Rajput

10. Sanjay Shirsato

11. Ramesh Bornre

12. Pradeep Jaiswal

13. Abdul Sattari

14. Tanaji Sawanti

15. Suhas Kande

16. Prakash Abitkari

17. Pratap Saranaki

18. Geeta Jain

19. Shrikant Shinde

20. Rajan thinks

21. Balaji Keknikar

22. Gulabrao Patil

23. Shambhuraj Desai

24. Chintaman Vanga

25. Anil Babar

26. Dnyaneshwar Chowgule

27. Raimulkari

28. Lata Sonawane

29. Yamini Jadhavi

30. Kishore Appa Pati

In the meanwhile

CM Uddhav Thackeray’s residence was a scene of high activity all through the day. The total strength of Maharashtra Assembly is 288. With one legislator dead, the number is down to 287. This means the majority mark in the Assembly, in the event of a trust vote, is now 144. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress currently has 152 legislators. Minus Shinde’s 22 the number is 130.

If the “missing” MLAs led by minister Eknath Shinde resign, the Sena’s number comes down to 34. That brings down the ruling coalition’s strength in the House to 130. With 22 MLAs resigning, the new majority mark in the House will be 133. BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said the BJP had managed 134 votes in the Legislative Council elections held yesterday.

Last heard:

CM Thackeray is reported to have had a 10-minute call with Eknath Shinde in the evening. However, the ice does not seem to have thawed. Meanwhile, Maharashtra ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis has been in Delhi all day today claiming stake to form the government.

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