A night after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray vacated his official residence ‘Varsha’ a moved into his family home ‘Matoshree’ amid dramatic scenes, Shiv Sena lashed out at rebel MLAs in its editorial ‘Saamna’. Asking them to “wake up on time”, it said that it is now clear who was behind the “excess victory” for someone (BJP) in the recent Rajya Sabha and Maharashtra MLC polls.
If someone’s dreaming of forming a new government, it is their fault. Sena has weathered many storm. The history of rebellions tells us that those who rebelled were brought down by the Shiv sainiks. The Shiv Sainiks can turn these rebels from current MLAs to ex-MLAs,” it said.
Further, accusing the BJP of “orchestrating” the rebellion, it said that “Use and throw” has been the history of BJP. “The rebel MLAs have been threatened with action by central agencies,” it said.
Meanwhile, rebel leader Eknath Shinde remained defiant and insisted the party should walk out of “unnatural” ruling alliance MVA and claimed support of “enough number” of MLAs.
Last night, hours after reaching out to Shiv Sena dissidents with an emotional appeal and offering to quit, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night vacated his office residence. The CM moved out of ‘Varsha’, his official residence in south Mumbai, and shifted to Matoshri, the private bungalow of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra, amid high drama even as the Shiv Sena asserted he will not resign in the wake of rebellion by Shinde, a Cabinet member camping with rebel MLAs in Guwahati.
Sena leaders like Neelam Gorhe and Chandrakant Khaire were present at ‘Varsha’ when Thackeray was leaving the official residence. Party workers raised slogans and showered petals on the CM as he left his official house along with his family members at around 9.50 pm.He reached outside Matoshri at around 10.30 pm. However, it took another 40 minutes for the CM to cover a short distance from outside Matoshri to inside his residence. Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut asserted Thackeray will not resign following the rebellion and maintained the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.Earlier in the day, Thackeray reached out to rebels with an emotional appeal and offered to quit, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him. Breaking his silence over the revolt led by Shinde, the Sena strongman from Thane, Thackeray said he was ready to step down if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him, all camping in Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam, declare that they don’t want him to continue as CM.In an 18-minute live webcast in the evening which was delayed by 30 minutes, Thackeray, who has tested positive for COVID-19, admitted to being inexperienced and clarified that a spine surgery late last year kept him away from meeting people.
Thackeray said he was shocked at the ongoing political developments in the state, which started on Monday night when Shinde (58) raised a banner of revolt and landed in a hotel in Surat, around 280km from Mumbai, with a bunch of disgruntled MLAs.
“If my own people do not want me, I don’t want to stick to power. I am ready with my resignation letter even if one rebel comes and tells me face to face that he doesn’t want me as chief minister. I am also ready to quit as Shiv Sena president if Shiv Sainiks tell me so. I face challenges head on and never turn my back on them,’ he said.The CM reiterated his party’s commitment to Hindutva. “Hindutva is Shiv Sena’s breath. I was the first CM to speak about Hindutva in the Legislative Assembly,” Thackeray said.