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Rebel Shiv Sena ministers likely to lose portfolios, hints Maha Vikas Aghadi government

Mumbai: After sending out notices to 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs Saturday, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is planning to take action against the rebel ministers.

Apart from urban development minister Eknath Shinde, who is heading the rebel camp, Water Supply and Sanitation minister Gulabrao Patil and Agriculture minister Dada Bhuse as well as Ministers of States Sambhuraje Desai and Abdul Sattar are set to lose their portfolios.

“The MVA government is planning to take away the portfolios of the rebel ministers as early as by Monday,” a highly placed source in the MVA government told ThePrint.

At the same time, the source claimed about 20 MLAs of the Shinde camp are in touch with their parent party.  “The Shinde camp is getting restless with every passing minute. This works for us,” he said. “About 20 MLAs are in touch with the Shiv Sena. We are hopeful that they will vote for us during the floor test.”

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal has set a Monday deadline to the rebel camp to file response against the disqualification of the rebel MLAs. If the replies don’t come by Monday 5:30 pm, the party said, would be assumed that the rebel MLAs have no objection to their disqualification.

But Deepak Kesarkar, a rebel Shiv Sena MLA, had told the media Saturday that they should be given a week to submit their response.

However, it is within the rights of the Maharashtra Assembly Deputy Speaker to decide whether he wants to extend the time or not. Zirwal is leading the Assembly as the House doesn’t have a Speaker.

On the other hand, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said Sunday that the deputy speaker has already sent the notice (to the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs). “He can take whatever decision, if the rebels don’t reply,” he told media in Nagpur. Patole also claimed that the rebel MLAs were camping in Guwahati as they were ‘scared’ of the Enforcement Directorate and other central agencies.

Also Read: Deputy CM’s chair, 9 portfolios — what BJP has offered Eknath Shinde if ‘rebellion succeeds’

MVA’s strategy

Though short of numbers currently, the MVA government and Shive Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are of the opinion that the rebel camp would either merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Prahar Janshakti Party of rebel minister Bacchu Kadu’s party who is with Eknath Shinde.

“There is a split in that camp. Some rebels don’t want to merge with BJP, and they don’t even want to leave the Shiv Sena and go for a small party like Prahar, ” the source quoted above said.

Even as there were talks that whether there was a possibility of President’s Rule, it would be a ‘risk’ for the BJP to take that route as the Rashtrapati Bhavan is bracing for poll on 18 July, the source said.

“None of the elected representatives from the state will be able to vote for the President election if there is a President’s rule in Maharashtra. Since Maharashtra is a big state, the central government will not want to take that risk,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the central government Sunday deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to provide security to the families of at least 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs after threat assessment in the wake of the tumultuous political scenario in Maharashtra.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Ready to walk out of MVA govt, but return — Sena’s desperate offer as Shinde gets ‘number edge’

Source: The Print

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