Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari instructed Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey and state DGP Rajnish Seth in a letter sent on Sunday to provide security for all dissident MLAs and their families amid the continuing political turmoil in Maharashtra.
This comes at a time when the crisis in the state is getting worse by the day. Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde revolted against his own party, sparking frenzied political activity in the state.
47 MLAs, including 38 Shiv Sena members, two Prahar Jan Shakti Party members, and seven independents, according to Koshyari, have informed him that the police security for their families has been “illegally and unlawfully withdrawn.”
The plea for police security comes after the Center decided to strengthen security cover of 15 Shiv Sena dissident MLAs after Thackerays’ supporters staged protests and vandalised several of the rebel MLAs’ offices in various parts of the state.
The majority of Sena legislators have stood with Shinde since his rebellion against his own party earlier this week, when he travelled to Surat in Gujarat and later to Assam, both states being dominated by the BJP.
Despite being in the minority, Team Thackeray has rejected Shinde’s declaration that he will stake claim for the party symbol. Aaditya Thackeray publicly challenged the rebels to “defect and fight” the polls.
Eknath Shinde and other rebel ministers will be the target of Shiv Sena retaliation as well. Eknath Shinde, Gulabrao Patil, and Dada Bhuse, are reportedly in line to lose their positions. Action is also likely to be taken against Ministers of State Abdul Sattar and Shamburaje Desai.