Eknath Shindetermed the SC verdict as the victory of Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva.
Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde said today he would go to Mumbai "soon" and "take Balasaheb Thackeray's legacy forward", indicating that he is ready to launch his next play.
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Eknath Shinde and the rebels, who have been staying at a five-star hotel in Guwahati, reportedly consulted lawyers to discuss the possibility of a floor test in the Maharashtra assembly.
Sources say Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari may ask Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority sometime this week.
Eknath Shinde, leading a staggering coup against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, claims he has the backing of around 50 MLAs, nearly 40 from the Shiv Sena.
The Supreme Court yesterday gave Mr Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs time till July 12 to respond to disqualification notices issued by Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal, who belongs to the party of Uddhav Thackeray's ally Sharad Pawar. Mr Shinde called it the victory of "Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva", referring to the Shiv Sena founder, Uddhav Thackeray's father.
The Supreme Court refused to pass orders on Team Thackeray's request that no floor test be allowed till then. "If anything illegal happens, you can always move this court," it said.
BJP leaders reportedly met at former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's home in Mumbai to discuss the arithmetic required to form a government in a tie-up with the Shinde Sena faction. Mr Fadnavis arrived in Delhi this afternoon where he will meet the party high command.
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray said that around 15 to 20 rebel MLAs were in touch with him and had urged the party to bring them back to Mumbai - a claim denied by rebel minister Uday Samant.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will chair a key cabinet meeting at 5 pm. Mr Thackeray, who tested positive for Covid last week, will attend the meeting virtually, officials have said.
Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision, top leaders of Maharashtra's ruling coalition met at Uddhav Thackeray's home and reiterated their support for him.
The Shiv Sena has accused the BJP of masterminding the revolt and hounding its leaders using investigating agencies. Uddhav Thackeray's key spokesperson, Sanjay Raut, was summoned today by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case but he refused to go. Mr Raut terms the summons a conspiracy.