Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde plunged the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) into a political crisis on Tuesday as he rebelled against his party and landed in a Surat's Le Méridien hotel along with at least 21 Sena MLAs, putting a huge question mark on the stability of the two-and-a-half-years old government.
The dramatic turn of events came hours after results of polls to the state Legislative Council on Monday night, which saw the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) losing one of the 6 seats it contested, to the opposition BJP which got all its five nominees elected to the Upper House, possibly on the back of cross-voting in its favour from the ruling bloc besides support from Independents and MLAs from smaller parties.
Meanwhile, the ruling partners have alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched "Operation Lotus" to bring down the government.
What is Operation Lotus?
'Operation Lotus' or ‘Operation Kamal’ refers to the saffron party's alleged strategy for gaining power in states where it lacks seats to form a government on its own.
This alleged strategy, which also includes poaching, has been successfully used in Madhya Pradesh in 2020 and Karnataka in 2019.
However, there have also been instances when this alleged strategy has not been successful (e.g., Maharashtra in 2019 and Rajasthan in 2020).