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Maharashtra crisis: Sharad Pawar chairs NCP MLAs' meet

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Mumbai, Jun 23: NCP chief Sharad Pawar chaired a meeting of the party's MLAs amid political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.

Pawar called on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday evening.

Sharad Pawar

Pawar was accompanied by his daughter and NCP MP Supriya Sule and party minister Jitendra Awhad.

The meeting took place after Thackeray's live webcast, in which he offered to quit as Maharashtra chief minister and extended an olive branch to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him.

The rebellion by Shinde, who has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, has pushed the two-and-a-half-year-old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to the brink. The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.

After the Council poll results, Shinde went incommunicado and later it came to light he is camping in the hotel along with some party MLAs.

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.

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