New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The high voltage political drama in Maharashtra that began with the revolt of the senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Tuesday continued on Thursday.
The growing strength of the Shinde faction has thrown the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on the brink. The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray vacated his official residence on Wednesday after an emotional address to the state.
Thackeray in his address said that he is ready to step down from the post if the rebel MLAs tell him that they don't want him to continue as head of the state government. He appealed to the rebel MLAs to return and discuss the issue with him face to face.
As media reports claimed that the strength of Shinde's faction has gone up to 45 MLAs, senior party leader Sanjay Raut offered that if all the MLAs say then the party will consider breaking away from the MVA alliance.
The Shiv Sena, that heads the ruling MVA alliance, currently has 55 MLAs. The Nationalist Congress Party (NC) having 53 MLAs and the Congress party with 44 MLAs are the other constituents of the MVA coalition. The opposition BJP has 106 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly has a total strength of 288 members.
As the political situation in Maharashtra continues to be in flux, CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to know people's opinion on the issue.
During the survey, while the majority of respondents, 60 per cent, opined that Thackeray should resign from the post of Chief Minister, 40 per cent did not share the sentiment.
Interestingly, while majority of NDA voters, 73 per cent, spoke in favour of Thackeray stepping down as head of the state government, views of the opposition supporters were divided on the issue.
Amongst the opposition voters, while 52 per cent respondents said that Thackeray should continue as Chief Minister, 48 per cent demanded his resignation.
According to the survey data, the majority of urban voters, 64 per cent, and a large proportion of rural votes, 56 per cent, spoke in favour of Thackeray stepping down.
The survey revealed differences in opinions of different social groups on the issue. During the survey, while majority of Upper Caste Hindus (UCH) 70 per cent, Other Backward Classes (OBC) 66 per cent and Scheduled Tribes (ST) 60 per cent opined in favour of Thackeray's resignation, views of majority of Muslims, 75 per cent, were completely opposed to the idea.
Views of Scheduled Caste (SC) respondents were divided on the issue.
As per the survey data, while 55 per cent of SC voters favoured the idea of Thackeray putting in his papers, 45 per cent did not agree to this sentiment.
The survey further highlighted that a large proportion of respondents, 33 per cent, believed that party infighting for political supremacy is the main reason for Shinde and his faction raising the flag of rebellion against Thackeray.
As per the survey data, while 26 per cent respondents think that the rebellion within Shiv Sena took place because of the party's alliance with NCP and Congress, 24 per cent said that weak leadership of Thackeray is the key reason for the revolt.
At the same time, according to 16 per cent respondents, differences over Hindutva triggered the rebellion within the party.
According to the survey data, the biggest chunk of NDA voters, 29 per cent, said the revolt took place because MLAs were angry with the party forging an alliance with NCP and the Congress.
During the survey, while another block of 27 per cent of NDA supporters blamed the weak leadership of Thackeray for the rebellion, 25per cent% of them opined that the fight for political supremacy led to the revolt by party legislators.
According to 19 per cent of NDA supporters, differences over Hindutva prompted the rebellion.
Amongst the opposition supporter, as per the survey data, while 40 per cent said that the political ambition of Shinde and fight for political supremacy is the key reason for the rebellion, 24 per cent of them opined that displeasure against the against the alliance with NCP and the Congress led to the rebellion by party legislators.
At the same time, while 21 per cent of opposition voters believe that the weak leadership of Thackeray encouraged party MLAs to revolt, 15 per cent of respondents from the camp differences over Hindutva led to the revolt within the party.
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