File photo: Eknath Shinde. Photograph:( ANI )
The current Maharashtra government is a three-way coalition between Shiv Sena, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) who rules central government in India forms the Opposition in Maharashtra
Government in western Indian state of Maharashtra was widely considered to be in trouble after one of the key ministers in the coalition reportedly went incommunicado. Eknath Shinde, the minister, reportedly had taken at least 11 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) with him. This sparked wide speculation that the state government, led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, was in danger of falling.
As Shinde is yet to spell out his stand, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil ruled out any link of his party to the ongoing political developments but also said the BJP would "definitely consider" a proposal if it comes from Shinde to form a government.
The current Maharashtra government is a three-way coalition between Shiv Sena, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules central government in India forms the Opposition in Maharashtra.
In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena has 55 MLAS, NCP (53), Congress (44), Bahujan Vikas Agahdi (three), Samajwadi Party, AIMIM and Prahar Janshakti Party two each. MNS, CPI-M, PWP, Swabhimani Paksha, Rashtriya Samaj Party, Jansurajya Shakti Party and Krantikari Shetkari Paksha have one MLA each. There are 13 independent MLAs.
Sharad Pawar, former union minister and influential figure in forming the ruling coalition said that this was an attempt to pull down state government.
He also said that Uddhav Thackeray will handle the situation which is an internal matter of the Sena.
As Sena struggled to quell the unrest, party MP Sanjay Raut claimed that contact has been established with Shinde, who he described as a "loyal Shiv Sainik of Balasaheb Thackeray".
The sudden disappearance of Shinde and some party MLAs prompted Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to call an urgent meeting with party legislators and leaders at 'Varsha', his official residence, in Mumbai.