Updated: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 08:13 AM IST
Eknath Shinde, the disgruntled Shiv Sena leader who has revolted against party supremo Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday underlined that it is important to come out of an "unnatural alliance", urging the Maharashtra Chief Minister to break all ties with Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
"Imperative for Shiv Sena to walk out of 'unnatural alliance' with NCP and Congress to save party and party workers," tweeted Shinde in Hindi. "Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks weakened even as ruling alliance partners Congress and NCP got boost."
Shinde's remarks come just an hour after Thackeray said he is ready from the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief if party leaders and MLAs do not want him to continue. However, Thackeray said the rebel MLAs should return to Mumbai tell him that they don't want him to continue as the Chief Minister.
"Why make statements from Surat and other places? Come and tell me to my face that I am incompetent to handle the posts 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 Raj Bhavan," Thackeray said in a 17-minute-long address on Facebook.
Shinde, meanwhile, has claimed the support of 46 MLAs that can help him avoid the anti-defection law. In the 288-member Maharashtra legislative assembly, the Sena has 55 MLAs. Shinde wants Sena to break ties with the NCP and Congress and join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) again.
The BJP and Sena had contested the Maharashtra assembly polls 2019 together, but the latter leadership had severed ties with the former after the elections. The Sena later formed an unlikely alliance with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.