Nagpur(PTI): In the wake of the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government facing a crisis, party MP Krupal Tumane on Thursday denied reports of joining the rebel faction led by Eknath Shinde, and asserted that he was with the Sena.

Tumane, the Lok Sabha member from Ramtek in Nagpur, said "patience is the need of the hour".

Maharashtra cabinet minister Shinde, who is camping in Assam's Guwahati city with rebel Sena MLAs, on Wednesday claimed the claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents.

On Thursday morning, three more Shiv Sena MLAs left for Guwahati from Mumbai, according to an associate of Shinde. The Shiv Sena currently has 55 MLAs in the Assembly.

Tumane in a statement on Thursday said, "Nobody has contacted me, nor I have supported anyone. I am with the Shiv Sena only. Some information is being spread about me, which is absolutely incorrect. Keeping patience is the need of the hour."

On Wednesday, Eknath Shinde gave a letter to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's deputy speaker, signed by 35 Sena MLAs, replacing Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena legislature party.

He has maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night vacated his official residence, hours after reaching out to Shiv Sena dissidents with an emotional appeal and offering to quit, even as rebel leader Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of the "unnatural" ruling alliance MVA, and claimed the support of "enough number" of MLAs.

The CM had moved out of 'Varsha', his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshree, the Thackeray family's private bungalow in suburban Bandra, amid high drama as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde, who is camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.

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Mumbai (PTI): Maharashtra BJP leader Girish Mahajan on Thursday claimed that his party has the support of 170 MLAs, way above the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House that is necessary to form a government in the state.

The BJP is set to return to power in the state with the support of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray tendered his resignation on Wednesday night, leading to the collapse of the 31-month-long three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Speaking to reporters here, former minister Mahajan said, "We have a support of 170 MLAs. We can comfortably face a floor test whenever we are asked to prove majority."

The BJP's strength in the House is 106, and it claims to have the support of at least 13 legislators.

Meanwhile, sources said that Eknath Shinde will reach Mumbai from Goa this afternoon to hold talks about government formation with BJP leaders.

Shinde had landed in Goa from Guwahati on Wednesday night with a group of 50 MLAs, of whom 39 are Sena dissidents, while others are independent legislators and those from small parties.

It is not yet clear if the Shinde-led group will merge with any party. Shinde Wednesday night reiterated that they are Shiv Sainiks and will remain in Shiv Sena.