Uddhav Thackeray resigns as Maharashtra Chief Minister after Supreme Court refuses to stay floor test

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis is now expected to take oath on July 1

Tribune News Service

Vibha Sharma

New Delhi, June 29 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today resigned from his post after the Supreme Court refused to stay Thursday’s floor test for the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Stating that he was not interested “in playing the numbers' game,” Thackeray stated, “Last week I left the official residence of Chief Minister, today I am resigning,” taking to the social media moments after the SC verdict

Uddhav Thackeray during his Facebook Live session on Thursday evening. Video Grab

Thackeray also appealed to the party cadres not to take to the streets in protest.

The outgoing Chief Minister said he was happy that in his last Cabinet meeting he was able to fulfil the dream of Sena founder Balsaheb Thackeray of renaming Aurangabad and Osmanabad.

Thanking MVA coalition partners, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for their cooperation and support in running the government, Thackeray took on the rebels led by Eknath Shinde, asking the reasons for their anger against him. “Congress leader Ashok Chavan told me that if the rebels want, Congress would get out of the government and extend outside support. Those who were expected to ditch me, stood by me while my own left me.

“Let rebels who grew politically because of Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray get joy and satisfaction from pulling down his son from the post of chief minister. I don't want to get into the numbers' game. It would be shameful for me to see if even one of my own party colleagues would stand against me,” he said.

Taking a swipe, Thackeray said the Governor upheld democracy by acting on the BJP’s letter to order the floor test within 24 hours, wishing that he had done the same with the MVA’s proposal to nominate MLCs pending with Raj Bhavan.

Thackeray also resigned from the legislative council after the vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala passed the order on the plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu, challenging the direction of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. Though according to some Congress leaders, he should have made the speech on the floor of the House to put it on the record.    

While the rebels led by Eknath Shinde sought an immediate floor test, the Thackeray side wanted it to be postponed by one week given that the issue regarding the disqualification of 16 Sena rebels was still pending.

With the end to the nine-day long Maharashtra political stand-off veering in the favour of the rebels and opposition BJP, the Maharashtra Cabinet headed by Thackeray today approved the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar and adjoining Osmanabad to Dharashiv.

The long-pending move by the Shiv Sena-led MVA was seen as an apparent bid by the beleaguered Thackeray to underline his party’s ‘Hindutva’ lineage that has been challenged by Shinde and opposition BJP. In its last meeting, the Cabinet also approved naming Navi Mumbai Airport as DY Patil International Airport.

The decisions were taken even while the Supreme Court was hearing Prabhu’s plea. Speaking at the Cabinet meeting, Thackeray also thanked ministers and bureaucrats for their cooperation during the past two-and–a- half years, saying that his own people have brought upon the situation on him.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis is now expected to take oath on July 1. He is expected to be called by the Governor on Thursday. Shinde, who had been camping in Guwahati since last week with a majority of party legislators and several independent MLAs, reached Goa. Leaders from his side said they had all respect for Thackeray but he should have left the MVA earlier. “The state will now be on the path of progress under the leadership of Fadnavis,” they said.

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