Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19 after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari who also tested positive for the virus. This was informed by Congress leader Kamal Nath adding that he was unable to meet him amid the escalating crisis in the state.
"We had a meeting with Uddhav Thackeray but he has tested positive for Covid. That's why I cannot meet him," Mr Nath told the media as he led efforts to keep the party's flock together.
The Shiv Sena leader is set to hold a meeting of his cabinet via video conferencing, sources said.
Maharashtra has plunged deeper into political turmoil as rebel Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde flew to Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam this morning and claimed he had the support of 40 of the party's 55 MLAs and six independents.
"There is no question of changing parties. We will follow Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva," Mr Shinde told after arriving in Guwahati.
The exact number of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs travelling in the chartered flight from Surat in Gujarat, where they were camping earlier, could not be confirmed but the flight had 89 passengers, including onboard crew, news agency PTI said quoting sources.
The MLAs arrived here from Surat and were taken to the hotel in three buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 55 MLAs, followed by allies NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288-assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144.
The MLAs were taken to Surat from Mumbai on Tuesday and the decision to shift them to Guwahati was taken on security grounds, according to a BJP source, PTI reported.
The Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra is facing a crisis following the revolt by a section of its MLA led by Mr Shinde.