Maharashtra crisis: Numbers stacked against him, Uddhav Thackeray says ready to quit as CM. But there’s a catch!

Thackeray also said he was ready to give up the post of Shiv Sena president as well if Shiv Sainiks feel that he isn’t capable of heading the party.

Thackeray also said he was ready to give up the post of Shiv Sena president as well if Shiv Sainiks feel that he isn't capable of heading the party.

Breaking his silence after his government was pushed to the brink of collapse by rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said he was ready to quit his post if the rebel MLAs tell him that they don’t want him to continue as CM.

The remarks came as Shinde, who now leads the rebel faction of Sena, claimed that he has support of 46 MLAs, including six ministers. With numbers stacked up against the MVA government, Thackeray said he will form the government again if he loses today.

In a 17-minute-long webcast, Thackeray who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day, said he was ready to give up the post of Shiv Sena president as well if Shiv Sainiks feel that he isn’t capable of heading the party.

“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.

Thackeray also claimed that several rebel MLAs called him from to tell that they were forcibly taken away. The remarks came as 34 Shiv Sena MLAs, who are part of the breakaway faction, passed a resolution appointing Eknath Shinde as the leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature party, according to The Indian Express.

Reacting to Shinde’s charge that the Shiv Sena was no more the one that followed Balasaheb’s Hindutva ideology, Thackeray said that the party was just another side of the coin as Hindutva. He also said that he has always taken forward Balasaheb’s ideology.

He said he would be happy to see a Shiv Sainik as his successor on the CM’s post, adding he took up the post despite his inexperience after a suggestion from NCP chief Sharad Pawar. 

Shinde, on his part, has shown no signs of backing down from his rebellion, which has pushed the two-and-a-half-year old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to the brink.

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