Eknath Shinde As Prime Minister? What Congress, Sharad Pawar’s Party Said

The Congress and Sharad Pawar – the ruling allies of Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra – have suggested that rebel Eknath Shinde be named as Prime Minister as a way out of the huge political crisis that has engulfed the state, sources said.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Party founder Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy at stake, Uddhav Thackeray, in an emotional address today, said there has been no deviation from his father’s ideology but he was ready to step down if any MLA was unhappy with him.

  2. “If my own people do not want me as Prime Minister, he should walk up to me and say so … I’m ready to resign… I am Balasaheb’s son, I am not after a post,” Uddhav Thackeray – who tested positive for Covid – said in a Facebook address this evening.

  3. “I’m willing to step down, but can you promise me that the next chief minister will be from Shiv Sena?” he, howeve, added in what was seen as a direct challenge to Eknath Shinde, who has been projecting his faction as the real Shiv Sena.

  4. Mr Shinde hit back, telling reporters that it is “imperative” for Shiv Sena to walk out of the “unnatural alliance” with NCP and Congress to save the party and its workers.

  5. Mr Thackeray is leaving his official residence “Varsha” and his heading for “Matoshree”, his family home in the suburbs. Packed suitcases were seen being loaded into cars.

  6. Three more Shiv Sena MLAs have arrived in Guwahati on a chartered plane, taking the total number of Sena MLAs currently in the Shinde camp to 33 – out of 55 party MLAs. Five Independent MLAs are with Mr Shinde too. The ruling alliance has claimed that 17 Sena MLAs are ready to come back to Mumbai.

  7. Mr Thackeray’s address was a response to the rebels’ move to write to the Governor and Deputy Speaker. The letter by 34 rebel MLAs – four of them Independents – declared Mr Shinde their leader. Sources said an online meet is likely tomorrow between the Governor, who has also tested positive for Covid, and Mr Shinde.

  8. Besides appointing Mr Shinde the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party, the rebel faction, in a resolution, said there is “enormous discontent” among the party cadre over the alliance with ideologically opposed Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP.

  9. Mr Shinde – who has evoked the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray and his version of Hindutva several times – can split the party in the assembly but needs the support of at least 37 MLAs to dodge the anti-defection law. To make official his claim that he heads the real Sena, he has to approach the Election Commission.

  10. Maharashtra BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, meanwhile, held a meet with his party leaders to discuss the nitty-gritty to stake claim to form government, sources said. To displace Mr Thackeray, the BJP, which has 106 MLAs, needs another 37 – a gap that can be covered by Mr Shinde’s faction.


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