Eknath Shinde, the Shiv Sena rebel who sparked the political crisis in Maharashtra, underlined today that it is vital to get out of the “unnatural alliance” of Sharad Pawar’s party and Congress for the survival of the side.
The statement comes shortly after alliance partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, sources say, suggested the rebel leader be appointed Chief Minister.
“In the past 2.5 years, Shiv Sena has only suffered and other parties have benefited. Where other parties have grown stronger, the Sena has only weakened.
“To save the party and the Shiv Sainiks, it is vital that the unnatural alliance is destroyed. It is important to make this decision in the interest of Maharashtra,” said Shinde, who is now camping with other rebels in the the BJP ruled Assam. , tweeted on day 2 of the Maharashtra potboiler.
Shinde insists that the Sena restore its alliance with the BJP and rule the state.
“Some say we should go with the BJP. But how do we do that. We were with them and suffered. Why should we go with them,” Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray reportedly told party leaders at an emergency meeting yesterday, adding that talks with the rebel leader were underway.
Today, in an emotional speech, Uddhav Thackeray said he is “ready to quit” at any time, but stopped announcing his resignation as Chief Minister.
“Come to me and tell me to resign, to my face, and I’ll quit as Chief Minister. The Chief Minister’s position came to me by accident – it’s not something I yearn for,” the chief minister said. Mr Thackeray.
“Despite the support of (NCP Leader Sharad) Pawar Saheb and (Congress Leader) Kamal Nath, if my own people don’t want me to become Chief Minister, what should I do? I don’t know if I can call them my people because they don’t see me as theirs,” he said.
Eknath Shinde needs seven more Sena MLAs by his side to split the party without risking disqualification under the anti-defector law.
Thackeray said he received “calls from MLAs who went with Eknath Shinde and claimed they had been kidnapped”.