Two days before Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde revolted against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, he had a heated argument with Aaditya Thackeray, state cabinet minister and son of CM Uddhav Thackeray, and party MP Sanjay Raut at a hotel in Powai where the party MLAs were lodged ahead of the Legislative Council elections.
A report in The Indian Express quoted a source as saying that the argument was over additional votes to the ally Congress, which Shinde was opposing.
One of the Congress candidates, Bhai Jagtap, won the elections while the other candidate, Chandrakant Handore, was not elected.
“Two days ago, when negotiations were taking place at the Renaissance hotel regarding how the votes were to be used for the Council elections, Shinde had a disagreement with Raut and Aaditya. Shinde was not amenable to the idea of using votes of Sena MLAs to get Congress candidates elected as MLCs,” the source reportedly said.
“It turned into a heated argument between the two sides. Looking back now, it appears that this could have been a deciding factor (for the revolt),” the source added.
Shinde had been unhappy with the political developments in the past few months and the source said that the Chief Minister too might have been alerted about it.
The Congress had fielded two candidates in the recently held MLC elections despite having numbers to ensure the victory of only one. The list released by the Congress had Handore’s name as the first candidate and many believed that he would win while the second party candidate, Bhai Jagtap, would face a tough battle because he would need votes from the party’s allies to win.
However, Jagtap emerged victorious while Handore was defeated. BJP won five seats while the Shiv Sena NCP won two seats each.
Currently, Eknath Shinde is in Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam, where he arrived early this morning and claimed that he has support of 40 MLAs from his party and 10 other MLAs are going to join him.
Shinde had said that he is not breaking away from the Shiv Sena and will carry forward the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that Shinde is not leading the party and said that the two leaders have been working together for over 35 years. Raut claimed that the reports of Shinde breaking away from the party are baseless.
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