Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked the state Director General of Police to provide security to the rebel MLAs. The governor, in a letter to top cop Rajnish Seth, has said the MLAs have raised serious concerns for their homes and families after "threatening statements were made by certain political leaders"
This comes as the state is witnessing a crisis, deepening by the day, after Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde rebelled against his own party, setting off hectic political activities in the state.
Mr Koshyari said that 47 MLAs - 38 from Shiv Sena, two from Prahar Jan Shakti Party and seven independents - have told him that police security of their families has been "illegally and unlawfully withdrawn".
The letter requesting police security follows the Centre's decision to increase security cover of 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs after cadres loyal to the Thackerays staged protests vandalised the offices of some of the rebel MLAs in various parts of the state.
Since Mr Shinde's revolt against his own party earlier this week when he moved to Gujarat's Surat and then to Assam - both ruled by the BJP - majority of the Sena legislators have sided with him.
Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Thackeray has dismissed Mr Shinde's assertion that he will stake claim for the party symbol. In an open challenge to rebels, Aaditya Thackeray asked them to "defect and fight" the elections.
The Shiv Sena is also planning to take action against Eknath Shinde and other rebel ministers. According to sources, ministers Eknath Shinde, Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse are likely to lose their portfolios. Abdul Sattar and Shamburaje Desai - both Minister of State - are also likely to face action.