Updated: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 11:10 AM IST
Trouble mounted for the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra on Tuesday after Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde, along with 21 MLAs, went 'out of reach'. Without sharing much details, a party leader said Shinde might have moved to Gujarat with the MLAs.
"He (Shinde) was at the Shiv Sena office in the Legislative Assembly premises on Monday when Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was present there. But, no one knows about him after that. He was not present during the counting (for MLC polls)," news agency PTI quoted a Sena leader as saying.
Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has now called an urgent meeting of all party MLAs. Meanwhile, Bal Thackeray loyalist Eknath Shinde will be addressing a press conference in Surat on Tuesday afternoon.
Shinde went incommunicado a day after the ruling MVA suffered another setback in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.
Ten MLC seats went to polls on Monday, out of which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged five. All five BJP candidates - Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad - won the elections.
The Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won two seats each while the Congess - which also fielded two candidates - bagged just one seat after Dalit leader Chandrakant Handore lost the polls.
This was the second setback for the MVA in less than a week after the Rajya Sabha elections.
The BJP has made a 'cheeky' response to Shinde going missing. "No comments should be made on such things, else what is the point of being unreachable," news agency ANI quoted BJP leader Narayan Rane as saying.
Earlier, the party had claimed that several MVA MLA cross-voted for it in the MLC polls, noting that it received 133 votes while it has only 106 legislatures in the Maharashtra legislative assembly.
"Today we have got 134 votes and this is the answer to all those who questioned what Devendra Fadnavis can do? Devendra Fadnavis is the only leader who can lead, which all the three parties couldn't do," BJP leader Pravin Darekar said, as reported by ANI.
"Devendra has done it, the government can't do anything and dissatisfaction has been shown against the government, independent MLAs have shown their dissatisfaction against the state government. We have proved this in today's poll result," he added.