Several BJP leaders also met Eknath Shinde at the Guwahati airport while Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was seen waiting for the Shiv Sena leader at the hotel.
Mumbai: Moments after Eknath Shinde landed in Assam’s Guwahati, the Shiv Sena rebel told the media that he has support of 46 MLAs (40 from Shiv Sena and six Independents), enough to breakaway and join hands with the BJP. However, he added he will not do that and will carry forward the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray.
Till the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, Eknath Shinde and a few other MLAs were camping at the Le Meridian hotel in Surat city of Gujarat. On Tuesday evening he reportedly spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray but the 10-minute phone call could not make any headway, said sources.
Shinde’s shifting from Mumbai to Surat and then to Guwahati was reportedly facilitated by the BJP. Several BJP leaders also met Eknath Shinde at the Guwahati airport while Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was seen waiting for the Shiv Sena leader at the hotel.
The grim political situation of Maharashtra has also led Thackeray to convene a cabinet meeting in Mumbai around 1 pm even as several Shiv Sena MLAs remain housed in different hotels in a bid to keep the pack together.
Also Read: Maharashtra: Eknath Shinde, 20 Shiv Sena MLAs ‘not reachable’
On Tuesday, moments after Shiv Sena removed him from the post of the party group leader, Eknath Shinde removed Shiv Sena from his Twitter handle’s bio but pledged his support to the “Hindutva” ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray.
On Tuesday, Eknath Shinde had gone incommunicado. During his phone call with Thackeray, Shinde is reported to have told him that he is a true Shiv Sainik and his move is for the betterment of Shiv Sena. He also told Thackeray that he hasn’t signed any contract with the BJP and wants Thackeray to break the alliance with Congress and join hands with the BJP.
Amid such a political turmoil, where thousands of Shiv Sena workers were seen hitting the streets in protest against Eknath Shinde, National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he would visit Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai and discuss the situation. Many other senior Congress leaders are also slated to meet Thackeray.