Eknath Shinde, the head of the Shiv Sena rebels, needs one more MLA to split the party without being disqualified for desertion under the party rules. 36 MLAs are currently in the Shinde camp.
As a way out of the massive political crisis that has overtaken the ruling coalition, the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Shiv Sena’s alliance partners in Maharashtra, have suggested that rebel Eknath Shinde be chosen as Chief Minister, media reports said.
In a letter to the governor, Shiv Sena rebels identified Eknath Shinde as their leader.
The BJP maintains that the Shiv Sena’s internal issues are the cause of the political crisis in Maharashtra and that the party is not establishing a claim to power in the state.
“We haven’t spoken to Eknath Shinde. This is an internal Shiv Sena issue. Nothing about this involves the BJP. We’re not staking claim to form the government,” Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve said, speaking to the media after a meeting with BJP leader and Maharashtra former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.