Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who along with at least 12 MLAs is camping in BJP-ruled Gujarat, was removed from the post of party group leader.
MLA Ajay Chaudhary will replace Shinde. The decision came amid a meeting being held at the official residence of CM Uddhav Thackeray.
Around the same time, Shinde put out a tweet that translated to, “Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb’s thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb’s teachings.”
Sharad Pawar, chief of Sena ally Nationalist Congress Party, has said he has “full faith” in Thackeray and assured that a way will be found out of this situation. NCP leader said an attempt is being made to pull down the government in Maharashtra and its happening for the third time.
Some sources say, Shinde has reportedly moved to Meridian hotel in Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat with 21 other MLAs, setting off alarm bells in the Uddhav Thackeray government.
Uddhav Thackeray called an emergency meeting at his residence this afternoon.
In what pointed to a bigger crisis, several MLAs other than those with Shinde, were also absent at the meeting, NDTV reported.
A Sena leader told The Indian Express that around 20 Sena MLAs, including four state ministers, are “not reachable” at the moment.
This comes after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dealt a major blow to the MVA Monday, winning the state Legislative Council polls with 133 votes, including 27 votes from other parties and Independents.