Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday claimed his government had the support of 220 of the 288 legislators in the Maharashtra Assembly.

Addressing a rally of his Sena faction in Kolhapur district, Mr. Shinde defended the inclusion of the Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction on grounds that it was necessary for “certain political equations”.

“Many of you are thinking that what was the need to take Mr. Ajit Pawar’s NCP group on board when our BJP-Shinde Sena government was doing fine…but we have to work out certain political equations. But do not let this worry you…ever since our government completed one year, we have been hearing rumours that it will collapse. Instead, today, I have the support of 220 MLAs,” said the CM.

Mr. Shinde assured his party workers not to worry as he was CM and would see to it that no injustice was done to any of his cadre.

His allusion was to the resentment on Mr. Ajit Pawar being given the plum Finance portfolio.

Times today are different… in the last government, there used to be problems regarding fund allocation while cases used to be lodged against Shiv Sainiks. But do not worry, Eknath Shinde is your CM today. There will be no injustice to any Shiv Sainik. I will see to it,” said Mr. Shinde.

He further said that Mr. Ajit Pawar had joined the government after seeing its work and accepting PM Modi’s leadership.

“The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is an emotional one. It is a union of a particular ideology. This is not an alliance born out of selfishness or political expediency,” Mr. Shinde said.

Mr. Shinde’s State-wide tour to shore up his party’s base comes in the wake of intense resentment within his party leaders at Mr. Ajit Pawar’s inclusion in the ruling government and amid speculation that 16 rebel legislators from the CM’s camp could be disqualified as per the Supreme Court’s judgment in May. .

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