Rebel Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde removed Shiv Sena from his Twitter bio following his ‘Hindutva’ tweet where he said he was a ‘Shiv Sainik’ and would not betray the ideals he had learnt from party founder Balasaheb Thackeray for the “sake of power”.
“We are Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sainiks. Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never, and will never betray, the ideals of Balasaheb and teachings of Dharmveer Anand Dighe for the sake of power,” Shinde’s tweet from earlier today, roughly translated from Marathi, read.
Around the same time, the Sena sacked him as the party leader at the state legislature and named a Mumbai MLA Ajay Chaudhary as his replacement.
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Around an hour after the above developments, Shinde removed ‘Shiv Sena’ from his Twitter bio. The new information on his micro-blogging site now reads “Cabinet Minister of Urban Development and PWD (Public Undertakings) MH State | Guardian Minister, Thane & Gadchiroli District”.
The crisis in the western state began after Shinde and more than a dozen Sena MLAs went “out of reach” and were later found to be camping at a hotel in Surat, Gujarat – a state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sena MP and party’s spokesperson Sanjay Raut has been repeatedly appealing to Shinde for a reconciliation and urged him to come back to Mumbai for holding talks.
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However, the possibility of the same looks dim as of now since Shinde’s latest stand is about forging an alliance with the BJP. Raut said that his party colleague’s demand, which came to light after Sena MLAs Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak went to Surat to meet the rebet minister, has come “out of nowhere”.
“The alliance of 25 years had to be cut off due to certain reasons. Everyone, including Eknath Shinde, is aware why the Shiv Sena split with the BJP,” Raut said.
Sena supremo and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier in the day held a meeting with party leaders and state legislators regarding the political turmoil. He also reportedly spoke to Shinde over the phone.
Meanwhile, the state BJP chief said that neither the party nor Shinde has sent any proposal to form a government in Maharashtra. However, he did not erase the possibility of the same, adding “anything is possible” at any time in politics.