Ajit Pawar announces support to Uddhav Thackeray amid Maharashtra political crisis


Maharashtra deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar on Thursday announced support to Uddhav Thackeray while Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said the party can provide support to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government even from outside as well if a situation like that arises. The statements from both the alliance partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi came after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters that his party would consider leaving the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition if the revel MLAs show the courage of coming back and make an official representation demanding Sena's exit from the alliance.

OnSanjay Raut's statement hinting at the possibility of a discussion on whether Shiv Sena should leave the alliance, Ajit Pawar refused to comment and said Raut's statement might be an appeal to his party MLAs. "We don't want to react to what he said. He may have made that statement while making an appeal to his party MLAs." Pawar said.

Both NCP and the Congress held meetings on Thursday to discuss the political crisis in Maharashtra as rebel Sena MLA Eknath Shinde's camp got strengthened with more legislators turning rebels.

Former Maharashtra chief minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said the entire operation is being orchestrated fro,m Delhi and BJP's Devendra Fadnavis is on his way to Delhi to take instruction and logistical support.

After NCP's meeting, Chhagan Bhujbal said the MVA has the numbers as no MLA of Shiv Sena has resigned. "We stand with CM Uddhav Thackeray & will support him till the last moment... We have numbers for the govt as no MLA of Shiv Sena has resigned nor Shiv Sena has expelled anyone from the party," Bhujbal said.

The Maharashtra crisis took a new turn on Thursday with Sanjay Raut's statement that Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the rebel MLAs return to Mumbai in 24 hours and make a face-to-face discussion with Uddhav Thackeray. Raut also claimed that he was in touch with the rebel MLAs camping in Guwahati.

Hindutva has emerged as a major issue behind the rebellion as the Eknath Shinde camp claimed Uddhav's Shiv Sena has moved from its ideal of Hindutva. Shinde termed the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance ‘unnatural’ and said Shiv Sena got eclipsed in the alliance while the other two parties prospered from the tie-up.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)