Facing a revolt within his own ranks, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was ready to resign today at 5 PM on social media after it was clear that there was "no way out" of the political crisis facing Maharashtra government but NCP chief Sharad Pawar convinced him not to resign.
The chief minister reportedly wanted to announce the decision at 5 pm today via social media. However, sources added that NCP chief Sharad Pawar convinced Uddhav Thackeray not to resign as Maharashtra CM. The chief minister had offered to resign twice but was reportedly convinced against it by Sharad Pawar.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, Thackeray in his Facebook live address last week had offered to resign as the CM and also as the Shiv Sena President even if one of the disgruntled legislators come and tell him in person.
Make new alliance with BJP, rebel Shiv Sena MLA urges Uddhav Thackeray; says theirs is fight for party's self-respect
Amid the political crisis in the ruling alliance in Maharashtra, a rebel Shiv Sena MLA has written an open letter saying that their action "is not a rebellion but a fight for Shiv Sena's self-respect" and urged party chief Uddhav Thackeray to make a new alliance with BJP.
The open letter by rebel Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar said that the BJP- Shiv Sena alliance is in line with the verdict given by the people of Maharashtra.
"Over the last five days, we are witnessing an upheaval in Maharashtra politics. Suddenly, we, the Shiv Sainiks of Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena have become villains. Those who got elected to the Rajya Sabha because of us, are now abusing us every day. We are called dirty pigs; much disturbing abuse is coming our way, so much so that our dead bodies are now awaited! And that is the crux of the matter; so, the real reason we have stationed ourselves in Guwahati is to strengthen ours and the Shiv Sena's true voice," he said.
"This is not a rebellion but a fight for Shiv Sena's self-respect... I request party chief Uddhav Thackeray to consider and make a new alliance with BJP. BJP- Shiv Sena alliance is in line with the verdict given by the people of Maharashtra," he added.
The letter targeted Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and said he has "committed the heinous crime of distancing Uddhavji from us". Congress and NCP are allies of Shiv Sena in the MVA government which is battling for its survival in Maharashtra.
"It is unfortunate that Sanjay Raut who hasn't been elected by people is set off to finish our party. Sanjay Raut is NCP's blue-eyed boy. You may succeed in distancing the Shiv Sena from the BJP but if you are trying to distance the Shiv Sena from Hindutva, how do you expect us to tolerate it?" the letter said.
The letter alleged that the party was "being run" on Sanjay Raut's advice.
"NCP fires the gun from Sanjay Raut's shoulder and who does the bullet hit? Not enemies of our party but loyalists like us," it said.
The letter said Balasaheb's basic mantra and "most important lesson to us had been that focusing on Hindutva was above any alliances and this teaching will stay with us till eternity".
"Even if we die, we would like to die fighting to safeguard Hindutva," Kesarkar said.
Noting that they had earlier stated that Shiv Sena should continue its alliance with BJP, he said there were provocations by NCP and Congress during the MVA rule but they followed "the path told by our leader".
"But now, the water is way over our head. Limits are crossed. Today, if at our cost, NCP and Congress are enjoying power and simultaneously making efforts to finish the very foundation of our party, it is not acceptable to us at all," Kesarkar said.
The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs had moved to Guwahati from Surat and have claimed growing support of Shiv Sena MLAs. The rebel MLAs' leader Eknath Shinde had claimed on Wednesday that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs. Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly.
In the latest jolt to the Uddhav Thackeray camp, Uday Samant joined the rebel group on June 26. He is the eighth minister from Shiv Sena to join the rebel camp.
Both the Shiv Sena and the rebel group have been seeking to outmanoeuvre each other. While the Thackeray group removed Shinde as leader of the legislative party and appointed a new chief whip, supporters of Shinde wrote to the state Governor that he continues to be the leader of the Shiv Sena legislature group. They also appointed a chief whip.
The battle between the groups has now reached the Supreme Court which on Monday granted interim relief to Shinde and other MLAs to file their reply to disqualification notices issued to them by the Deputy Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly by July 12, 5.30 pm.Earlier, the Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file a reply by Monday, 5.30 pm.A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala, in its order, said, "As an interim measure, the time granted by the Deputy Speaker, to the petitioners or other similarly placed MLAs to submit their submissions today by 5.30 pm, stands extended till July 12. The petitioners or other MLAs are at liberty to submit their reply without prejudice to their rights in the writ petition." The apex court was hearing the petitions filed by the Shinde group challenging the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker to 16 rebel MLAs as well as the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader.
The bench also issued notices to the Deputy Speaker, Secretary of Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly, the Centre, Ajay Chaudhary, and Sunil Prabhu and asked them to file a reply within five days.
On the request of providing security to 39 MLAs alleging threats to them, the Supreme Court recorded the statement of the standing counsel of the Maharashtra government, Rahul Chitnis, that adequate steps have already been taken and the state government will further ensure that no harm is caused to the life, liberty, property of the MLAs.
During the hearing, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Eknath Shinde and others told the Supreme Court that the Deputy Speaker cannot proceed with the disqualification proceedings when the resolution seeking his removal is pending.