Updated: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 08:12 AM IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with his son Aaditya and wife Rashmi, on Wednesday evacuated his official residence in south Mumbai and moved to his family's Matoshri bungalow in suburban Bandra after the rebel by Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde that has jolted the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
This comes hours after he virtual address on Facebook in which Thackeray - who tested COVID-19 positive earlier in the day - said he is ready to resign from the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister and as Shiv Sena chief if the party MLAs and leader want him to quit, adding a new twist to the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra.
#WATCH | Maharashtra CM #UddhavThackeray along with his family leaves from his official residence, amid chants of "Uddhav tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain" from his supporters.#MaharashtraPoliticalCrisis— Jagran English (@JagranEnglish) June 22, 2022
"Why make statements from Surat (where rebels headed first on Monday night) and other places. Come and tell me on my face that I am incompetent to handle the post of Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president. I will resign immediately. I will keep my resignation letter ready and you can come and take it to the Raj Bhavan," Thackeray said.
"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.
However, following Thackeray's address, Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said the party supremo will continue to remain the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the MVA government will prove its majority in the state legislative assembly.
"Uddhav Thackeray is Maharashtra Chief Minister and he will remain the CM. If we get the chance, we will prove our majority on the floor of the House," Raut said, adding that Thackeray will leave his official residence.
Meanwhile, Shinde said that the party needs to get out of the "unnatural alliance", hinting that the Shiv Sena must rejoin hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Shinde has claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs which is enough to avoid the anti-defection law.
"In the last two and a half years, M.V.A. The government benefited only the constituent parties. It's essential to get out of the unnatural alliance for the survival of the party. Decisions need to be taken now in the interest of Maharashtra," tweeted Shinde.