Likely repeat of 'Operation Lotus' in Maharashtra, led by Sena leader Eknath Shinde

MUMBAI: Just a day after facing a setback from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra which is led by Shiv Sena along with under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar's Nationalistic Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) the Congress have landed in a major crisis. 

Eknath Shinde, one of Sena's most senior leaders from Thane and the cabinet minister of urban development and public works has apparently signalled a revolt in the party and there are all indications that it could be a repeat of the famous 'Operation Lotus' of the BJP's a strategy for grabbing power in states where it does not have enough seats on its own to form a government.

According to sources Shinde had a late-night meeting with Thackeray on the recent incident of cross-voting and the concerns of the party's MLA which has jolted the alliances and almost immediately he left for Surat in Gujarat. He 

Sources said that Shinde who became incommunicado as his phones were not reachable is accompanied by about a dozen of Sena's MLAs and they are camping in Le Meridien hotel in Surat which has been cordoned off by Gujarat Police officials. 

Days after a similar debacle during the Rajya Sabha elections, on Monday it was apparent that due to cross-voting by MVA members the coalition was dealt a shocker when the BJP which could win 4 out of the 10 seats in the state legislative council on its numbers succeeded in winning 5 with Congress losing on its first preference candidate. 

Speaking to the media here in Mumbai, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the BJP wants to destabilise the government in Maharashtra at any cost as they have been trying for the past two-and-a-half years have tried everything like using money and hounding by agencies however they will not succeed. 

The BJP leaders have however claimed that they have nothing to do with these turn of events and that the MVA would crumble under its own bad governance. They have however claimed that Shinde enjoys the support of over 35 MLAs from Sena which if true will result in splitting the party and the government will automatically collapse due to lack of numbers. 

Operation Kamal or Lotus was first pioneered in 2019 in Karnataka when BJP was able to organise the resignation of 15 Congress and 2 from JD(S) MLA's bringing down the Congress-Janta Dal (S) coalition government led by H. D. Kumaraswamy. 

After the Supreme Court ruling held up the disqualification of these MLAs but allowed them to run, all rebels joined BJP and after winning the elections became a part of the B.S. Yeddyurappa government. After Karnataka BJP similar orchestrated successful campaigns in Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Gujarat and Meghalaya. Although they tried unsuccessfully in Rajasthan and West Bengal.


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