Stating that he was not interested “in playing the numbers’ game”, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said he was resigning from his post.
“I am also quitting as member of Legislative Council,” Thackeray said in a webcast, while appealing the workers of his party not to take to the streets in protest.
Thackeray’s announcement came minutes after the Supreme Court refused to stay Maharashtra governor’s direction to the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.
He had no regret leaving his post, Thackeray, who was facing a rebellion by majority of Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, said. Thackeray, who heads the Shiv Sena, appealed to Sena workers to allow the rebel legislators to return and not take to the streets in protest.
The rebels, earlier in the evening, left Guwahati where they were camping for over a week, and landed in Goa.
“Let the rebels who grew politically because of Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray get joy and satisfaction of pulling down his son from the post of chief minister,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
“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 stands against me,” he said.
He said security has been tightened in Mumbai and Shiv Sainiks have been detained.
The Congress and the NCP did not oppose his decision to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar in the last cabinet meeting, held in the evening, Thackeray said. He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar for their cooperation and support while running the MVA government.
“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,” he said.
Referring to the rebels, he said, “What were your problems? Instead of going to Surat and Guwahati, you could have come to me directly and expressed your views.” Shiv Sena is a party of common man and has faced several challenges successfully, Uddhav Thackeray said, adding he would rebuild the party.
“I thank Shiv Sainiks for standing by me. Those who grew politically because of Shiv Sena were disgruntled, while those who did not get anything were loyal,” he said.
Earlier, vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala of the Supreme Court said it was “not staying the floor test as convened by the Governor” but “tomorrow’s proceeding will depend on the final outcome of this petition”.
The Shiv Sena had challenged before the apex court Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s order to the Assembly secretary to schedule a floor test on Thursday morning.