Eknath Shinde EXCLUSIVE: ‘No offer from BJP yet; have support of 40 Shiv Sena, 12 Independent MLAs’

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Image Source: PTI (FILE)

Eknat Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray at an event in Mumbai.

Eknat Shinde EXCLUSIVE: Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknat Shinde said 40 party MLAs and 12 independent lawmakers were staying with him at a hotel in Guwahati. Speaking exclusively to India TV on Friday morning, Shinde also said he has yet to receive any proposal from the BJP to form a government.

“40 Shiv Senas and 12 independents… that’s the strength,” he told Indian television by phone from Guwahati.

The strongman of the Seine also said that the disqualification notice given by the party in front of the deputy speaker was illegal.

“The notice of disqualification given by Shiv Sena to the deputy speaker is wrong…the person issuing the whip is wrong. They are in the minority and do not have the right to petition. Most are with us. This is an illegal activity,” he said.

The politician also vehemently dismissed the Vice Speaker’s concerns about the authenticity of the signatures on a letter sent yesterday by his camp in which the rebel MLA declared Shinde their leader.

Earlier this week, Sena replaced Shinde as leader of the legislative party with Ajay Chaudhary. The 12 MLA Disqualification Notice was delivered by Ajay to the Deputy Speaker on Thursday evening.

When Shinde was asked if he had received any offers from the BJP, he replied “…did not receive any offers from the BJP”.

The Shinde rebellion and dozens of Sena MLAs plunged the Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into crisis. The MVA is an alliance between the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress.

Shinde and the MLA rebels initially moved into a hotel in neighboring Gujarat state Surat the day after the Sena-led alliance failed in MLC polls. The insurgent MLAs then flew on a charter flight to Guwahati in BJP-run Assam.

Shinde demands that Uddhava leave the unnatural alliance and rejoin the BJP to form a stable government. Significantly, the Sena withdrew from the BJP-led alliance in 2019 shortly after the Assembly election results were announced (even though the alliance won a comfortable 288-member House majority) and sided with the then sworn rivals of the CNC and Congress.

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