In Maharashtra’s ‘game of thrones’, meet the 16 MLAs who stood by Uddhav Thackeray against all odds

While crying “betrayal,” Thackeray said that only three ministers from his party were present at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which eventually turned out to be his last.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he was 'betrayed' by Eknath Shinde. (PTI)

It was only a matter of time before Uddhav Thackeray would finally step down as the Maharashtra Chief Minister after several of his MLAs left for the dissident Eknath Shinde camp, reducing his Maha Vikas Aghadi government to a minority in the state. The process was further exacerbated when the Supreme Court refused to stay the special session summoned by the Governor on Friday to prove that the Thackeray government still enjoyed the confidence of the Vidhan Sabha. With a loss of face imminent, with 39 out of 55 Sena legislators already with Eknath Shinde, Thackeray decided to announce his resignation through an address on Facebook instead of facing the no-confidence motion on the floor of the House. While crying “betrayal,” Thackeray said that only three ministers from his party were present at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which eventually turned out to be his last.

While more than two-third of his legislators went to the rebel camp, there were still 16, including his son Aaditya, who backed him till the end. Aaditya Thackeray had meet with several district leaders from the party throughout the ongoing crisis, while boosting their morale. In a last-ditch attempt, party’s chief whip Sunil Prabhu had moved Supreme Court against the Governor’s direction to hold a floor test. Just after Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, the Uddhav camp had declared Ajay Chaudhary as the Shiv Sena’s group leader in the House, after removing Shinde from the post.

Here is the list of MLAs who stood by Uddhav Thackeray till the very end:

Aaditya Thackeray
Chimamrao Patil
Rahul Patil
Santosh Bangar
Vaibhav Naik
Sunil Raut
Ravindra Waikar
Sunil Prabhu
Dilip Lande
Prakash Phaterpekar
Sanjay Potnis
Ajay Chaudhary
Kailas Patil
Bhaskar Jadhav
Rajan Salvi
Uday Samant

The Maharashtra government plunged into a crisis when Eknath Shinde, along with several other MLAs from Shiv Sena, left for Surat, soon after the MLC poll results were declared. A similar trend of Sena MLAs cross-voting for BJP candidates in Rajya Sabha was noticed in the MLC elections as well. The Shinde camp called the alliance between Shiv Sena and its MVA alliance partners NCP and Congress as “unnatural” one. Soon after, many MLAs started deserting the Uddhav camp, thus reducing it to a party of only 16 MLAs from 55.

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