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Amid poaching fears, Shiv Sena shifts MLAs to Mumbai hotel, refuses to budge from CM demand

The development comes as a BJP delegation comprising Girish Mahajan, Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Ashish Shelar met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today to discuss the legal options.

SNS | New Delhi |

Not willing to take any chances on potential poaching, the Shiv Sena has reportedly decided to shift all its 65 legislators to a private sea-facing hotel in suburban Bandra till the state political crisis is resolved.

With just a day left for the deadline to form government in Maharashtra, the Sena fears a split by its ally BJP.

The legislators, who are from Mumbai and different parts of Maharashtra, are expected to be lodged at the Hotel Rangsharda near the Bandstand in Bandra West.

Contrary to speculation in some quarters, the legislators would not be herded in a five-star hotel, but a modest and comfortable hotel at a convenient location.

The hotel is barely a couple of kilometres from Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s residence in Bandra East, around 4 km from Shiv Sena Bhavan, 16 km from Raj Bhavan and 19 km from the Vidhan Bhavan.

Meanwhile, party MP Sanjay Raut has rubbished reports of MLAs being moved to a resort amid the political uncertainty.

“There is no need for us to do this, our MLAs are firm in their resolve and committed to the party. Those who are spreading such rumours should worry about their MLAs first,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI earlier today.

The development comes as a BJP delegation comprising Girish Mahajan, Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Ashish Shelar met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today.

Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil, while speaking to reporters, said that the people have given the mandate ‘Mahayuti’ (BJP-Shiv Sena alliance).

“There is a delay in government formation. Today, we met the Governor to discuss the legal options and political situation in the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sena MP Raut has asserted that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has enough numbers to make their own Chief Minister, adding that the party will prove it in the Assembly.

“We have the numbers to make our own Chief Minister. We don’t need to show that here, we will show that on the floor of the house. We have alternatives, we don’t speak without options and alternatives,” he said.

He further challenged the BJP to form the government if they have the numbers. “If you don’t have the numbers then admit it,” he said, and added, “Constitution is for the people of this country, it is not their (BJP’s) personal property. We know the Constitution well. We will have CM of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra constitutionally”.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari clarified that he has no intention to return to state politics.

“No question of me returning to Maharashtra, I will continue to work in Delhi,” Gadkari told reporters.

Speculations have been making rounds that the RSS has apparently put out a roadmap to install Nitin Gadkari as the new CM of the state and thereby scale down its demand of chief ministership on a rotation basis.

He further said that a decision will be made soon on government formation in the state, adding that Devendra Fadnavis should be the Chief Minister. He also claimed that the RSS and its chief Mohan Bhagwat have no connection with regard to the matter.

Gadkari also stated that the BJP is in talks with the Shiv Sena and exuded confidence that the ally will support the saffron party.

The Sena and the BJP are locked in a tussle since the Uddhav Thackeray-led party raised demand for the chief minister’s post on a rotational basis and implementation of a “50:50 power-sharing” formula, which entails equal allocation of ministerial portfolios.

The BJP has rejected both the demands.