Republican Party of India chief and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's time is up and Shiv Sena's rebel MLA Eknath Shinde will form the government will the BJP.
"Uddhav Thackeray's time is up. Most MLAs will go with Eknath Shinde (rebel Shiv Sena MLA) and he will form the government with BJP," he told news agency ANI.
Shinde, a minister in the Thackeray cabinet and a heavyweight from the Thane district, has rebelled against the party, pushing the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, in which NCP and Congress also share power, to the brink of collapse. Shinde has claimed the support of 40 Sena MLAs and 10 independents, and all of them are currently in Guwahati in Assam.
Shinde has claimed that the faction led by him is the "real Shiv Sena".
Shinde is believed to be upset with the party leadership over an alliance with the NCP and Congress. He is demanding from Uddhav to exit an unnatural alliance and join the ranks again with the BJP to form a stable government.