The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to fly its 106 Maharashtra MLAs to Gujarat on a chartered flight, as the party fears poaching by the Shiv Sena. Meanwhile, in the evening another seven Shiv Sena MLAs landed in Surat. They were flown from Delhi to Surat.
Party sources say that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda will be flying to Ahmedabad. Sources also said that former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadanvis will have a meeting with Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde after landing in Surat. After that both will fly to Ahmedabad, where they will discuss future plans with senior leaders.
The BJP wants to ensure that not a single BJP MLA switches sides. So it is flying all its 106 MLAs to Gujarat, to be housed in a resort near Ahmedabad.
Sources said once the meeting of Eknath Shinde with senior BJP leaders is over, he will submit his resignation as minister in the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet to the governor.
The entire operation started post the MLC elections. In two batches 25 Shiv Sena MLAs reached Surat early Tuesday morning, while a third group reached Surat in a flight on Tuesday evening.
In the morning Maharashtra's Shiv Sena Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had decided to depute two senior leaders to Surat. Ravindra Phatak, Narendra Bhondekar, Shiv Sena MLAs reached the Le Meridien hotel and another leader Milind Narvekar also reached Surat. They will meet Eknath Shinde and other MLAs at the Le Meridien hotel and try to know their grievances and if required will arrange a telephonic talk with Uddhav Thackeray.