Updated: June 21, 2022 10:38:19 am
Eknath Shinde, senior Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Minister of Urban Development and Public Works, along with around 20 Sena MLAs, has gone incommunicado a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party won five of the 10 seats in the Legislative Council polls despite not having adequate numbers on its side.
Shinde’s absence has set off speculation that the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance government may be in danger.
Shinde is supposed to be currently in Gujarat. “We do not know of his whereabouts. I am sure that he will come out and clear his stand,” said Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe.
The BJP, which had 106 MLAs in the 288-seat Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, polled 133 votes. The additional 27 votes from other parties and Independents paved the way forward for its victory against the MVA. It is short of 12 MLAs to gain a majority in the assembly.
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Eknath Shinde is a four-time MLA from Kopri Pachpakhadi in Thane and one of the tallest leaders in the Shiv Sena after the Thackerays. Known to be approachable by all, Shinde has created a strong following in the Sena. After the 2014 Assembly elections which the Sena had contested against the BJP, Thackeray had handpicked him to be the leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra. The Sena subsequently joined hands with the BJP and Shinde was made a minister.
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