Amruta Fadnavis, Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis’s wife, took an apparent dig at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Twitter in the middle of an ongoing political crisis in the state.
In a tweet that she later deleted, Amruta Fadnavis wrote a phrase in Hindi, “Ek ‘Tha’ Kapati Raja… (Once there was a wicked king).” Her reference to a “king” and the quotation marks she used around ‘Tha’ are particularly being seen as a reference to Chief Minister Thackeray of the Shiv Sena.
The tweet comes at a time when the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government led by Uddhav Thackeray — with partners Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) — is in danger of collapsing after minister Eknath Shinde and 21 other MLAs of the Shiv Sena went off to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat in an apparent rebellion.
Sources said Mr Shinde has, in a phone call with the chief minister, demanded that the Shiv Sena restore its alliance with the BJP and continue to rule the state. Mr Thackeray had asked him to reconsider his move and return to the fold, sources said.
Mr Shinde claimed that, so far, he has not taken any decision or signed any document, and that he has taken this step for the betterment of the party. Two Shiv Sena leaders met the sulking Mr Shinde for two hours at the hotel. The fact that the G-22 he leads is being hosted in a state ruled by the BJP reveals the behind-the-scenes moves of the rebellion. The BJP president in Maharashtra, Chandrakant Patil, said that the party is open to forming a government with Mr Shinde.
The Congress has accused the BJP, ruling at the Centre, of trying to topple the Maharashtra government.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, seen as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi by bringing together ideologically opposed parties, has again emerged as a significant player in trying to save the regime.