Communication established with Eknath Shinde, says Raut; Sena-Cong-NCP alliance deny crisis

Eknath Shinde
Eknath Shinde

Mumbai: Maharashtra minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is not in Mumbai, but a communication has been established with him, party MP Sanjay Raut said on Tuesday.

Shinde along with some Shiv Sena MLAs had gone incommunicado, a party leader said earlier on Tuesday, a day after the ruling Maha Vikas Agahdi (MVA-comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress) suffered a setback in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls by losing one out of the six seats it contested.

According to sources, Shinde was camping along with some Sena MLAs at a hotel in Gujarat's Surat city.

Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Raut said it is a fact that contact with some MLAs could not be established on Monday night after the Legislative Council polls, but the party has been able to reach out to some of them now.

"Eknath Shinde is not Mumbai, but communication has been established with him," Raut said.

However, Raut did not elaborate on the number of MLAs who have gone incommunicado along with Shinde

Shinde wields influence in some of the satellite cities of Mumbai.

The opposition BJP on Monday won all five seats it contested in the state Legislative Council elections for 10 seats, while Congress candidate and Dalit leader Chandrakant Handore lost, in another setback for the MVA after the Rajya Sabha polls earlier this month.

Two candidates each of the Shiv Sena and NCP won, while the Congress managed to bag just one seat.

Ten Council seats were up for grabs and 11 candidates were in the fray for the elections, which came days after the Rajya Sabha polls, which saw the BJP handing an embarrassing defeat to the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Tuesday said there was no threat to the state Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and his party leaders would discuss the current political developments in the state during a meeting in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar dismissed rumours of trouble in the MVA.

"Eknath Shinde never told us about his CM ambitions; I am sure Uddhav Thackeray will handle situation," Sharad Pawar said.

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