Rebel MLA Eknath Shinde on Friday claimed he has the support of 50 MLAs, according to reports. Nearly 40 of them are from the Shiv Sena, he told NDTV on Friday morning.
Quoting sources, ANI tweeted that the strength of Shiv Sena MLAs in the Shinde camp is expected to cross 50 as more MLAs are likely to arrive in Guwahati on Friday.
Uddhav Thackeray has called for key party meet at noon on Friday, according to reports.
Shinde, who is camping in Guwahati with the MLAs, said he has the numbers, and called Uddhav's move to file disqualification notices against the rebel MLAs 'illegal'. On Thursday night, 37 MLAs wrote to the Governor and Deputy Speaker, backing Shinde as their leader. This comes Deputy Speaker Narhari after Zirwal approved the decision to appoint Ajay Choudhary as the Shiv Sena's group leader in the House in place of rebel leader Shinde. The letter also informed that Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale has been appointed as chief whip of the legislature party in place of Sunil Prabhu.
Rebel MLA Sanjay Shirsat who is in Guwahati told ANI that they had sought time to meet Uddhav, but he never did. "Many times in the past MLAs informed Uddhav ji that whether it is Congress or NCP, both are trying to eliminate Shiv Sena. Numerous times the MLAs sought time from Uddhav ji to meet him but he never met them," he said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the fate of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra will be decided on the floor of the Legislative Assembly, and the coalition will prove its majority in a trust vote. Pawar also asserted that the BJP has played a role in the crisis.
The rebel MLAs will have to come back to Mumbai and face the Assembly, he said, adding that BJP leaders "from Gujarat and Assam will not be coming here to guide them.