- Sena rebels to hold meeting in Goa to decide way ahead
- Final decision will be taken by Eknath Shinde after talks
- Devendra Fadnavis is set to stake claim to the Chief Minister's post for the third time
Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by senior leader Eknath Shinde, who are currently camping in Goa, will hold a meeting on Thursday to decide the way forward as they are likely to support the BJP to form the next government in Maharashtra following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister.
The decision will be taken by Shinde after talks. Deepak Kesarkar, the spokesperson of the rebel group said a decision on when to leave Goa for Mumbai is yet to be taken. "Whether to leave on Thursday or Friday is yet to be decided," he said. When asked about the Supreme Court verdict on Wednesday in which it refused to stay Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led government to take a floor test in the Assembly, Kesarkar said there was nothing to feel happy about it as the NCP and Congress made Sena people fight among themselves. "We had tried to avoid it (rebellion)… But it could not be avoided," he said. Reacting to Thackeray's resignation, Kesarkar said that Sena MLAs had urged him to pull out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) even yesterday, but he preferred to approach the Supreme Court.
The stage is set for the return of a BJP-led government in the state with the party, which is the single-largest party in the Maharashtra Assembly with 106 MLAs, likely to stake claim to form the government. As Leader of the Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis is set to stake claim to the Chief Minister's post for the third time. Fadnavis, who met the party's top brass twice in a week in Delhi, said that the future course of action will be announced today.
The BJP, on the other hand, is likely to hold a series of meetings to deliberate on the formation of government in the state along with the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, which had been camping in first Surat, then Guwahati and had landed in Goa on Wednesday night. The BJP will approach the Governor to stake claim to form the government, which the Shinde faction would back with their 39 Shiv Sena MLAs and other independents.