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HomeIndiaUddhav Thackeray tests positive for Covid, says Kamal Nath, 'unable to talk...

Uddhav Thackeray tests positive for Covid, says Kamal Nath, ‘unable to talk coalition crisis’

Congress leader Kamal Nath is in the state to hold talks with Thackeray and another partner, the Nationalist Congress Party, to gauge the rebellion in the coalition.

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New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, his coalition partner Congress’ Kamal Nath said on Wednesday after he was unable to meet the Shiv Sena supremo amid speculation that the government may fall following a rebellion in the Sena.

The Congress high command has sent Kamal Nath to Maharashtra to talk to all partners following a revolt within the Sena, led by senior leader and minister Eknath Shinde. Shinde has claimed the support of 45 to 46 MLAs, enough to topple the government with the help of rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Asked if the Sena’s ally had its own flock together, Kamal Nath said: “41 of our 44 MLAs attended a party meeting today. Three are on the way.” The meet was held at the residence of Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat.

Kamal Nath slammed the BJP for its politics of “money and muscle power”, saying this was against the Constitution. “I have seen this a lot… unity will prevail in the Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray,” he said.

Kamal Nath also met veteran Sharad Pawar, the head of the Nationalist Congress Party, the third arm of Maharashtra’s ruling coalition, the Maha Vikas Agadhi.

Hectic meetings have followed in the last 48 hours within the Shiv Sena and with the coalition, after a furious Eknath Shinde camped in BJP-ruled states following the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections.

Sources said he was severely rebuked by the otherwise soft-spoken Thackeray after the BJP got one seat extra due to alleged cross-voting by rebels.

Eknath Shinde, who is determined to stay on in the party but not under the present leadership, has claimed 45 to 46 party MLAs support him.

It is also said the rebel faction is not happy with the leadership of the NCP and the Congress.

Shinde, who was in Surat Tuesday, shifted to Guwahati on Wednesday morning, in the other end of the country. Assam is also ruled by the BJP.

Efforts have been made to allay his anger and emissaries sent by Uddhav Thackeray, but matters are still deadlocked.

Sanjay Raut said Wednesday morning that talks were underway with Shinde and his MLAs. “Everybody will stay in the Shiv Sena. Our party is a fighter, we will struggle consistently… at the most, we might lose power but we’ll continue to fight,” he said.

Raut also said Shinde was an old party member, “a friend with whom he has worked for decades”. He added: “It’s neither easy for him nor for us to leave each other. I had a conversation with him for an hour this morning and the party chief (Uddhav Thackeray) was intimated about it.”

Raut, however, dropped a cryptic tweet hours later which hinted the government may not sustain. He said: “The journey of political developments in Maharashtra towards dismissal of Vidhan Sabha.”


Also read: ‘Power can come and go…party’s reputation paramount’ — Sena’s Raut hints at assembly dissolution


 

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