Updated: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 08:14 AM IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that he is "ready to resign" from his position if the party MLAs want him to do so. In a virtual address on Facebook, the 61-year-old said he will also leave the post as the party's chief if Sena leaders and legislators are against him.
However, Thackeray said that the disgruntled MLAs, who are camping in Surat and Guwahati, should return to Mumbai and "say on his face" that they don't want him to continue as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
"If you (MLAs) say, then I am ready to leave the CM post. It's not about numbers but how many are against me. I will leave if even one person or MLA is against me. It's very shameful for me if even a single MLA is against me," Thackeray was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"I am ready to give my resignation to the MLAs, they should come here and take my resignation to Raj Bhavan. I am ready to leave the post of Shiv Sena party head also, not on the saying of others but my workers," Thackeray added.
Remembering his two years and a half years as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Sena chief thanked people for bestowing the love that was shown to him. He also revealed that it was the idea of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to appoint him as the Chief Minister after the 2019 assembly polls.
"When all 3 parties came together in 2019, Sharad Pawar told me that I had to take the responsibility of CM post. I didn't even prior experience. But I took the responsibility. Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi helped me a lot, they kept their faith in me," ANI quoted Thackeray as saying.
Remembering his father Bal Saheb Thackeray, the Maharashtra Chief Minister said 'Hindutva' is his life and he only tried to follow the teaching of the Sena founder. He, however, accepted that he wasn't able to meet people in the last few months, but blamed his "surgery and health condition" for that.
"But now, I have started meeting people," Thackeray said. "I don't want to get into what is happening with our MLAs and where they are going or where they are being taken."
Thackeray's brief address comes after Eknath Shinde claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, noting that he can avoid the anti-defection law. This sparked speculations that Thackeray might resign from his position.
The speculations were rife after Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said the ongoing political developments in Maharashtra could lead to dissolution of the state legislative assembly.
The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
"The political developments in Maharashtra are headed towards dissolution of the state Assembly," tweeted Raut, a close aide of Thackeray. "When such a situation arises in any state, I have seen that the Legislative Assembly is dissolved."