Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray began his live telecast on Facebook stating, “I am speaking to you after a long time. In this testing time of Covid, I did everything I could in my capacity. However, today I wanted to talk to you about something else.”
He prolonged his talk by saying, “I am hurt today; I am surprised and shocked. If Congress and NCP say they don’t want Uddhav as CM I can understand. But today morning, Kamal Nath called me, yesterday Sharad Pawar called me and said I am with you, I have faith in you. They want me but if my own people don’t want me then what can I say?”
He further said, “Instead of going to Surat or somewhere else, why can’t they just come and tell me to my face that we don’t want you as our CM. If they give a statement saying I want Uddhav Thackeray to resign, I will. I am ready to resign and also ready to go to Raj Bhavan if even one person told me on the face. I am ready to keep my resignation letter ready. Come before me and I will hand over my resignation. Take that resignation to Raj Bhavan and go. I can’t go because I have Covid.”
When we asked RTI activist Anil Galgali his opinion on today’s CM speech, he said, “change is an inevitable factor of every aspect of life including politics. Whatever happened today had to happen long ago.”
Visibly weak and fragile Uddhav Thackrey said, “Some people say this is not Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena. We fought alone in 2014 after Bal Thackeray passed away. I am a CM for the last 2.5 years and all those leaders elected come from the same Shiv Sena party of Bal Thackeray. It was not possible for me to meet anybody for the last three or four months and I have only recently started meeting people now.”
Sena and Hindutva are always intact. Shiv Sena can’t be separated from Hindutva and Hindutva can’t be separated from Shiv Sena. He also maintained that “Shiv Sena can’t be separated from Hindutva and Hindutva can’t be separated from Shiv Sena.”
He addressed people but did not say anything about pulling down the government or taking any drastic steps. He did not criticize anyone, but calmly answered all those allegations made against him.
Shinde and his followers have stepped up their rebellion with a letter to the Governor and Deputy Speaker in the state assembly. The letter by 34 rebel MLAs — four of them Independents — declares Shinde their leader.
Shinde — who has consistently evoked the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray and his version of Hindutva since yesterday — can split the party in the assembly but needs the support of at least 37 MLAs to protect them from the anti-defection law.