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Maha crisis: Uddhav Thackeray strips all 9 rebel ministers of portfolios but doesn’t sack them | India News

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MUMBAI: A week after the revolt began for control of Shiv Sena, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Monday stripped all nine ministers from rebel leader Eknath Shinde‘s camp of their portfolios. They will remain ministers but without portfolios.

By now, of the 14 ministers in the Thackeray-led government, only four including the chief minister, are from Shiv Sena. The others are industries minister Subhash Desai, transport minister Anil Parab and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray. They have all got additional portfolios.
Monday’s Supreme Court verdict protecting the rebel Sena MLAs from disqualification proceedings till July 12 led to speculation about whether a floor test is imminent. “The government is in a minority. The chief minister should leave the MVA government and join BJP. Then there will be no need for a floor test,” rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar said. Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray countered, “The rebels should come here, look into our eyes and tell us what we did wrong. That is our floor test.”
Congress member Balasaheb Thorat said, “No one has asked for a floor test. The CM has said 20 MLAs who are in Guwahati will back the government in the event of a trust vote.” BJP’s Sudhir Mungantiwar said the party will “wait and watch” and would consider such a proposal when it came.

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The cabinet reshuffle was prompted by concerns about work being held up. Also, by the onset of monsoon and the possibility of flooding or accidents, a press statement from Thackeray’s office said.
Under rule 6 of the rules of business, the chief minister has powers to re-allocate portfolio of a cabinet minister if he is not attending office since he is unwell or is not able to discharge duties. This is done to ensure works of public interest as well as routine work are not affected.

It was initially decided to sack all nine rebel members, a bureaucrat said. But the Sena leadership dropped the proposal and decided to strip them of their portfolios.
Meanwhile, rebel MLA Shamburaje Desai, who lost his junior minister portfolio, said, “We had no rights as junior ministers. The position was only in name. We were not able to get funds for our constituencies.”

Security of Guwahati hotel housing rebel Sena MLAs tightened further
Security inside and outside Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati, where rebel Shiv Sena MLAs are camping, was upgraded to an impenetrable level on Monday, a day after the Centre provided Y+ category security cover of armed CRPF personnel to at least 15 of them, reports Prabin Kalita.
Apart from a few top officers of Assam Police, a group of advocates were the only civilians allowed entry inside the hotel on Monday. In addition, crew members of several airlines that have agreements with the hotel were also allowed inside.

The president of Shiv Sena unit in Manipur, M Tombi Singh, who had come to meet the rebel legislators, was stopped at the gates and then arrested after he was spotted talking to media outside the hotel gates. “I’ve come to talk to Eknath Shinde and tell him not to divide the party. Sena should remain as one party and we want the political crisis to end soon,” he said.

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