New Delhi, June 29
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray resigned on Wednesday evening, shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s directions to the coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.
In a webcast, Uddhav said he was happy that in his last Cabinet meeting, he was able to fulfil the dream of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray to rename Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar and adjoining Osmanabad as Dharashiv.
Thanking coalition partners (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar and (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi for their support, he took on Sena rebels led by Eknath Shinde, seeking to know the reasons for their anger against him.
“Be happy you (rebels) have brought down the son of Balasaheb Thackeray. You have broken the heart of his party... I don’t want to get into the number game. It will be shameful to see my own party colleagues stand against me,” he said, adding he was also resigning from the Maharashtra Legislative Council. Taking a swipe, he said the Governor “upheld democracy by acting on the BJP’s letter to order the floor test within 24 hours”.
The Supreme Court vacation Bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala passed the order on the plea of Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu, challenging the Governor’s direction for the floor test. While the Shinde camp had sought an immediate floor test, the Uddhav side wanted it to be postponed by a week given that the case regarding the disqualification of 16 Sena rebels was pending in the SC.
The long-pending move to rename the two cities by the Shiv Sena-led MVA was seen as an apparent bid by beleaguered Uddhav to underline his party’s Hindutva lineage that has been challenged by Shinde and the BJP. The Cabinet also approved renaming Navi Mumbai Airport as DB Patil International Airport.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis is now expected to take charge of Maharashtra. Shinde, who had been camping in Guwahati since last week with a majority of party legislators and several Independent MLAs, today reached Goa.
Appearing for Shinde, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul argued that the floor test could never be delayed and that it was the “only way to determine political accountability and avoid horse-trading”.
- Close to midnight, Uddhav drove to the Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation
- Guv expected to call single largest party (BJP) to form govt
- BJP may call the legislature party meeting and elect Fadnavis as its leader
- Eknath Shinde may be Dy CM
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