Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday decided to send two Shiv Sena leaders to Surat in neighbouring Gujarat to hold talks with Eknath Shinde. Shinde and several party MLAs are camping at a hotel here since late last night, triggering talks of discontent in the MVA government. Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are the constituents of the MVA.
The two leaders who will travel to Surat are Milind Narvekar and Ravindra Phatak.
The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi suffered a setback on Monday when it lost out of six seats it contested in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls. Subsequently, Shinde along with some Shiv Sena MLAs went incommunicado. They were camping at a hotel in Gujarat's Surat city, according to sources.
On Tuesday, CM Thackeray, who is also the Shiv Sena president, held a meeting where party MLAs Sunil Kadam, Dada Bhuse, Neelam Gorhe, MPs Arvind Sawant and Vinayak Raut, MLC Manisha Kayande and other leaders were present.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Shinde is not in Mumbai, but communication has been established with him. Raut asserted that the Sena is a party of loyalists and attempts by the BJP, like in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to topple the MVA government would not succeed. He also said Shinde was a trusted Shiv Sainik, and that the 'missing' MLAs will be back after the party is able to reach out them.