Shiv Sena engaging with rebel MLAs directly, but no hopes of rapprochement: Sources
Mumbai, June 23, 2022
After Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray vacated the official residence in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena is now directly engaging with the rebel MLAs and talking to each of them through emissaries but with no hopes of a rapprochement.
A senior functionary of the Sena said, "The magnitude of the rebellion is such that there are grim chances of survival, but we are engaging with them and there are regular talks."
The Sena leader said the only hope is that the party thinks that many MLAs don't want to go into elections, so if they are disqualified for violating the party line they have to seek re-election. If half the MLAs return, then the government could survive.
The Sena rebel ranks are swelling, as the leader pointed out, who also added that no one could anticipate that Shinde would do this as he was a trusted man of the top leadership.
Thackeray late on Wednesday vacated his official residence "Varsha" at Malabar Hill to return to his private home "Matoshri" in Bandra along with his family.
The move came hours after his emotional appeal to the rebel group of Shiv Sena MLAs, led by Minister Eknath Shinde, that he (Thackeray) was ready to quit both as CM and as party President, provided the rebels meet him.
Thackeray -- who tested Covid-19 positive yesterday -- also said that he had kept his resignation letter ready and any of the rebels could go and hand it over to the Governor.
On his part, Shinde responded by saying that steps would have to be taken for Hindutva and reiterated his demand for the Shiv Sena to break off with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress to form the government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The crisis shows no sign of defusing despite efforts of the MVA allies, including the offer to quit by the Chief Minister or his decision to vacate his official residence.