Maharashtra political crisis: Where is Eknath Shinde?

On Friday, as the political crisis in Maharashtra entered its fourth day, the rebel Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde claimed the support of "40-plus MLAs", besides around 12 independents and smaller parties

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, June 24, 2022, 12:43 PM IST
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The Rebel Camp: Eknath Shinde, with his supporters, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Guwahati, Assam | FPJ Photo

On Friday, as the political crisis in Maharashtra entered its fourth day, the rebel Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde claimed the support of "40-plus MLAs", besides around 12 independents and smaller parties.

Where is Shinde now?

Shinde, along with the rebel MLAs, is currently at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Guwahati, Assam.

Why there?

The BJP is hosting the rebels in Assam, after first putting them up in Gujarat's Surat. This has been done to ensure no communications between the rebel camp and the camp of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, who was regularly sending envoys to the rebels when they were in nearby Surat.

Assam, a BJP-ruled state like Gujarat, is a sensible choice for setting up camp for Shinde, as the state is separated from Maharashtra by the entire breadth of the country.

BJP denies any role... but some members can't help but gloat

The BJP, which is hosting the rebels in Assam after first putting them up in Gujarat's Surat, denied the accusation of engineering an "Operation Lotus" in Maharashtra.

A BJP minister of Assam was seen in photographs of Eknath Shinde and the rebels at the Guwahati hotel where they are staying.

The term "Operation Lotus", a play on the BJP's symbol, has been used by the opposition to describe what they call the party's machinations to topple non-BJP governments in states.

How many MLA's are with Shinde?

On Thursday night, revealing the confirmed number of rebel MLAs, Team Shinde has released the list of 37 MLAs and 7 independents, who are currently camping in Guwahati.

Of 37, five are from Thane, Mumbai 4, Aurangabad 5, Jalgaon 4, Raigad 3, Osmanabad 2, Satara 2, Kolhapur 2, Buldhana 2 and one each from Nanded, Palghar, Nashik, Solapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Yavatmal.

Since the, figures have been revised upwards by Shinde.

"We are not scared by such threats... Whatever we are doing is absolutely legal. We have the affidavits of all the MLAs that they have joined us voluntarily. The majority numbers are with us, more than 40 Sena MLAs plus 12 independents and others," Shinde asserted.

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