In a major turnaround, Shiv Sena president and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will not resign as the member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. Thackeray on June 29 ahead of the trust vote during his emotionally charged televised address had announced his resignation as the Maharashtra Chief Minister and also said that he will step down as the member of the upper house.
Thackeray, who was yet to resign as the member of the state council, has for a moment dropped his decision after allies NCP and Congress told him that every single seat in the upper house is important, especially during the present political developments.
A senior Congress leader told the Free Press Journal, ‘’Shiv Sena has 13 legislators including Thackeray and in view of the evolving political situation, Thackeray has for a moment decided not to resign as the member of the state council. However, he won’t attend the proceedings of the monsoon session starting from August 17.’’
Both NCP and Congress had objected to Thackeray’s decision to resign from the CM’s post on the eve of the trust vote ordered by the Governor BS Koshyari following the rebellion staged by Eknath Shinde and 39 others. NCP and Congress had asserted that Thackeray should not have stepped down as the CM before the trust vote. Instead, they had said he should have resigned after participating in the debate to expose the nexus between the Shinde camp and BJP that led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Thackeray’s decision came after his recent meeting with NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil and also in the wake of an appeal made by former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Further, Thackeray changed his decision after Shiv Sena’s ally Congress during the Maha Vikas Aghadi government took strong objection to the appointment of Shiv Sena legislator Ambadas Danve as the leader of opposition in the upper house.
Congress had accused Shiv Sena of taking unilateral decision saying that it should have held talks with it before staking claim on the LoP’s post. Incidentally, Congress had also staked its claim saying the party was the natural claimant of the post as Shiv Sena deputy leader Neelam Gorhe is holding the deputy chairperson’s post in the state council while NCP veteran Ajit Pawar is the LoP in the state council.
A senior Shiv Sena leader told the Free Press Journal, ‘’Thackeray does not want to take a chance as the party has 13 legislators including him in the state council while NCP and Congress have 10 each. His resignation may reduce the party's strength by one causing problems for Danve’s continuation as the LoP as Congress may make a fresh plea by mobilising support from like minded parties and independents."