Maharashtra crisis: BJP not staking claim to form government, says union minister
Mumbai, Jun 23: As Maharashtra political scenario heats up, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Raosaheb Patil Danve has said that the political crisis in Maharashtra was Shiv Sena's internal matter and the BJP is not staking claim to form a government in the state.
"We haven't spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is Shiv Sena's internal matter. BJP has nothing to do with this. We're not staking claim to form the government," said Danve who is Minister of State for Railways.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray vacated his official residence, hours after reaching out to Shiv Sena dissidents with an emotional appeal and offering to quit, while rebel leader Eknath Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of the "unnatural" ruling alliance MVA and claimed support of "enough number" of MLAs.
Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut asserted Thackeray will not resign following the rebellion and maintained the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.
Earlier in the day, Thackeray reached out to rebels with an emotional appeal and offered to quit, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him.
Breaking his silence over the revolt led by Shinde, the Sena strongman from Thane, Thackeray said he was ready to step down if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him, all camping in Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam, declare that they don't want him to continue as CM.
The Sena strongman said the MVA, formed in November 2019, was beneficial only to alliance partners the Congress and the NCP, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition's existence.
Shinde maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.
Shinde has claimed the support of 46 MLAs and this is more than enough to circumvent the anti-defection law and bring down the government.
The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member assembly while allies NCP and Congress have 53 and 44 respectively. The MVA is also backed by 14 other MLAs and together it has the support of 166 in the assembly where the magic number is 144.