New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The high-voltage political drama in Maharashtra that began with the revolt of senior Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on June 21 continues as Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, heading the Maharashtra Vikas Agahadi (MVA) government, faces the worst ever crisis of his political career.
The strength of the rebel Sena camp led by Shinde, currently camped in Guwahati, has grown continuously. Shinde has been claiming that he has the support of around 40 Shiv Sena MLAs and several Independent legislators.
The rebellion in Shiv Sena has put the fate of the MVA government in jeopardy. In a bid to save his government, Thackeray had on June 24 filed a petition against the rebel MLAs and demanded the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly to disqualify 16 MLAs from the Shinde camp.
On June 27, the apex court extended the deadline given to the lawmakers to file their responses to the disqualification notices issued against them till July 11. On Tuesday, Thackeray reached out to the rebel Sena legislators. In an emotional message to the rebel MLAs, he said, 'You are still with the Shiv Sena from the heart.'
The alliance partners of MVA -- the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) -- have assured support to Thackeray till the last moment in the current political crisis.
Sena heading the MVA government has 55 MLAs. NCP with 53 legislators and the Congress having 44 MLAs are the alliance partners in the state government. The opposition BJP has 106 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly which has a total strength of 288 members.
Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to know people's views about the fate of the MVA government.
During the survey, people were divided in their views about the Thackeray-led MVA government surviving a floor test.
According to the survey data, while 46 per cent respondents said that Thackeray will succeed in saving his government, 54 per cent of those interviewed did not share the sentiment.
Interestingly, during the survey, while the majority of NDA voters -- 66 per cent -- said that Thackeray will fail in the floor test, views of opposition supporters were divided on the issue. As per the survey data, while 55 per cent opposition voters asserted that Thackeray will survive the floor tests, 45 per cent believed otherwise.
The survey highlighted differences in the opinions of different social groups on the issue. While 69 per cent upper caste Hindus and 60 per cent Other Backward Classes stressed that the MVA government will fail in the floor test, 75 per cent Muslims and 67 per cent Scheduled Tribes (ST) expressed completely different views on the issue.
The views of the Scheduled Caste (SC) voters were also divided on the issue. As per the survey data, while 48 per cent of SC respondents opined that Thackeray will sail through the floor test, 52 per cent did not agree with the sentiment.
The survey further highlighted that majority Indians don't see any possibility of Thackeray and the BJP joining hands. During the survey, while 65 per cent respondents asserted that Thackeray and BJP will not come together, 35 per cent of those who participated in the survey said that the two can form an alliance.
Interestingly, during the survey, the majority of both the NDA and opposition voters opined that it is unlikely that Thackeray and BJP will forge an alliance. As per the survey data, 69 per cent NDA voters and 63 per cent opposition supporters clearly stated that the two former alliance partners will not come together once again.
Similarly, majority of the respondents from different social groups opined that Thackeray will not go with the BJP. During the survey, 6 per cent ST, 64 per cent SC, 65 per cent OBC, 59 per cent upper caste Hindu and 83 per cent Muslims said that Thackeray will continue with the MVA and he will not join hands with the BJP.
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