The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi Government (MVA), headed by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was thrown into political turmoil on Tuesday after the rebellion of senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.
According to the media reports, 34 Shiv Sena MLAs wrote a letter on Wednesday to Maharashtra Governor announcing their support to Eknath Shinde. As the political crisis in Maharashtra intensified, Uddhav Thackeray broke his silence on Wednesday and in an emotional address to the state said that he was ready to step down from CM post if the rebel MLAs tell him that they don’t want him to continue as head of the state government.
Thackeray in address appealed to Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs to come back and discuss the issue with him face to face. The Shiv Sena with 55 MLAs heads the MVA Government in the state, NCP with 53 legislators and the Congress party having 44 MLAs are the alliance partners in the state government. Maharashtra legislative Assembly has a strength of 288 members.
CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey for IANS to know people’s views about the political crisis in Maharashtra. According to the survey data, the majority of Indians believe that the ruling Shiv Sena will break into factions after the revolt of Eknath Shinde. As per the survey data, while 63 per cent of the respondents said that the party founded by firebrand Hinduva leader Balasaheb Thackeray will split because of rebellion by Eknath Shinde, 37 per cent respondents did not share the sentiment.
Interestingly, during the survey, while the majority of NDA supporters – 73 per cent asserted that Maharashtra’s ruling party will be divided into factions, opinion of opposition voters was divided on the issue. Amongst the opposition voters, while 55 per cent respondents said that Shiv Sena would split, 45 per cent opined that the party will sail through the crisis situation.
The survey also revealed that the majority of both urban and rural voters believe that Shiv Sena will witness a division in the party because of the rebellion of party legislators. During the survey, 64 per cent of urban respondents and 62 per cent of rural respondents opined that there would be a split in Shiv Sena because of the rebellion.
Notably, respondents from different social groups shared different opinions on the issue. During the survey, while 70 per cent Upper Caste Hindus (UCH), 68 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 62 per cent Scheduled Tribe opined that Shiv Sena will break up because of rebellion by party MLAs, views of Muslims and Scheduled Caste (SC) respondents were divided on the issue. As per the survey data, while 58 per cent Muslims believe that Shiv Sena will get divided into factions, 42 per cent of the respondents from the community had opposite views on the issue. Similarly, while 48 per cent SC voters predicted division in Shiv Sena because of present political crisis in the party, 52 per cent of Dalit respondents didn’t share the sentiment.
The survey also highlighted that majority of Indians want Shiv Sena to shake hands with the BJP. During the survey, while 60 per cent of respondents opined that Shiv Sena should form an alliance with BJP, 40 per cent of those who participated in the survey were opposed to the idea.
Interestingly, during the survey, while the majority of NDA supporters – 68 per cent favoured the idea of Shiv Sena going with BJP, opinion of opposition voters was divided on the issue. As per survey data, while 54 per cent of opposition voters spoke in favour of the two parties coming together, 46 per cent of them did not agree to the sentiment.
During the survey, the majority of respondents from different social groups, except Muslims, spoke in favour of Shiv Sena entering into an alliance with the BJP. According to the survey data, while 71 per cent UCH, 65 per cent OBC, 61 per cent ST and 60 per cent SC respondents opined that the two parties should stitch an alliance, majority of Muslim respondents – 66 per cent were opposed to the sentiment.