Maharashtra political turmoil | Uddhav Thackeray leaves Varsha, his official residence, for family home Matoshri

Ready to quit as CM, would like to see a Shiv Sainik as successor, says Uddhav Thackeray; rebel group, now in Assam, firm on its demand that the Sena should quit the MVA

June 22, 2022 08:11 am | Updated June 23, 2022 12:41 am IST

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray greets supporters gathered outside his family residence Matoshree, after leaving his official residence Varsha, in Mumbai on June 22, 2022.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray greets supporters gathered outside his family residence Matoshree, after leaving his official residence Varsha, in Mumbai on June 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A revolt against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray by his second-in-command and senior Minister Eknath Shinde has turned in to a battle to control the party. Mr. Thackeray on Wednesday said that he would quit the Chief Minister’s post and even the party’s top position if his party workers told him to do so to his face. Insisting that he had always overcome challenges, Mr. Thackeray said that he was ready to face more and wouldn’t mind if another Sena worker replaced him as the CM.

In an emotional address to the people over Facebook, Mr. Thackeray, who has tested positive for COVID-19 said: “We joined hands with Congress and NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), but it’s not they who are telling me to quit. The sad part for me is that my own people [Shiv Sainiks] have lost trust on me. I considered them mine; I don’t know about them. I am ready to resign. But come and meet me face-to-face. Tell me that I should quit on my face and I will resign.”

He stressed that instead of speaking to him from Surat in Gujarat, those with any grievances should come to meet him. Mr. Thackeray also said he would be leaving the CM’s official residence, ‘Varsha’, and moving to his personal residence ‘Matoshri’. 

On the other hand, Mr. Shinde, who is currently stationed at Guwahati in Assam along with the group of MLAs supporting him, has been claiming the support of the majority of Shiv Sena MLAs and demanding that the Sena ally with the BJP, for the sake of Hindutva, by cutting ties with the Congress and the NCP. Replying to Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Shinde tweeted that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government benefited only its allies and harmed Sena workers. He tweeted with the hashtag #HindutvaForever: “While allies were getting stronger, Sena workers and Sena was systematically damaged. It is extremely important to quit from this unnatural alliance to save party and workers. It is important to take the decision now for the welfare of Maharashtra.”

The rebellion by Mr. Shinde is most significant in the outfit’s 56-year-old history as it threatens to bring down the party-led government in Maharashtra, while the other revolts took place when it was not in power in the State.

Also read | A recap of political events leading to formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi

Here are the latest updates

Mumbai | 11.30 pm

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday night vacated his official residence in south Mumbai and moved to family home in suburban Bandra, hours after offering to quit the top post amid rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

The CM moved out of ‘Varsha’, his official residence, for Matoshri, the private bungalow of the Thackeray family, amid high drama as the political crisis that has rocked his government after Shinde’s revolt two days ago, showed no signs of ebbing.

Neelam Gorhe and Chandrakant Khaire were among party leaders present at ‘Varsha’ when Thackeray, who has tested positive for COVID-19, was leaving the official residence.

Party workers raised slogans and showered petals on the CM as he left his official house along with his family members -- wife Rashmi Thackeray, sons Aaditya, who is a Cabinet minister, and Tejas Thackeray at around 9.50 pm.

He reached outside Matoshri at around 10.30 pm. However, it took another 40 minutes for the CM to cover a short distance from outside Matoshri to his residence as party workers had crowded the road.

Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks stationed themselves from Malabar Hill, where Varsha is located, to Matoshri in Bandra. Carrying placards and party flags, workers raised slogan of ‘Uddhav Thackeray Zindabad’ as some of them fought back tears.

The Sena president stepped out of his car at Worli, the Assembly constituency of his son and Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, and again near Matoshri and waived at party workers.

Thackeray tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, an official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said. The 61-year-old CM attended the weekly cabinet meeting virtually.

Guwahati | 9.22 pm

Imperative for Shiv Sena to walk out of “unnatural alliance” with NCP and Congress to save party and party workers, says State Cabinet Minister Eknath Shinde.

Maharashtra | 8.26 pm

Shiv Sena steadily weakened: Shinde

Eknath Shinde replies to Uddhav Thackeray via Twitter: "In the last two and a half years, only the MVA government's constituent parties benefited while the Shiv Sena was steadily weakened. While the constituent parties (read NCP and Congress) are getting stronger, the Shiv Sena is being emasculated."

Maharashtra MLAs in Guwahati

Maharashtra MLAs in Guwahati | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Maharashtra | 8.23 pm

“Ready to quit any moment”

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Baramati LS MP Supriya Sule meet CM Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s official residence Varsha. Later, State Congress chief Nana Patole too holds a meeting with him.

Mr. Thackeray is set to leave Varsha, his official residence for Matoshri, his personal residence. He had said that he is ready to quit as Maharashtra CM any moment, if even a single party MLA tells him to quit from the post. - Alok Deshpande


In 56 years, Shiv Sena faces fourth rebellion, first under Uddhav's watch

Despite being a party of committed cadres with unflinching loyalty to leadership of the day, the Shiv Sena has been vulnerable to rebellions in its ranks and it has seen revolts by prominent figures on four occasions, three of them under the watch of its charismatic founder Balasaheb Thackeray, with Eknath Shinde becoming the latest leader to join the list.

The rebellion by Mr. Shinde, a Cabinet Minister who has walked away with a bunch of Shiv Sena MLAs, is most significant in the outfit's 56-year-old history as it threatens to bring down the party-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, while the other revolts took place when it was not in power in the State.

The present revolt, which started taking shape post Monday midnight after Legislative Council poll results, throws a big challenge before Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as the three previous revolts took place when his father Bal Thackeray was still around.

Maharashtra | 6.00 pm

Willing to quit as CM, says Uddhav Thackeray

Saying that he was not willing to continue as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray says, “I will be happy if another person from Shiv Sena succeeds me as CM if I quit.”

He also says he is “ready to quit even as Shiv Sena chief”.

“Let those disgruntled MLAs come forward and demand so.” - PTI

Maharashtra | 5.57 pm

Shifting from CM’s official residence: Uddhav

Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says he is shifting from Varsha, official residence of the CM, to Matoshri, personal residence of the Shiv Sena chief.

Addressing people through a Facebook live, Mr. Thackeray says, “The most painful thing for me is that it was neither Congress nor NCP wanted to dethrone me. It was my people. Let those MLAs come to me and tell this on my face. Today I am shifting from Varsha to Matoshri.” - Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 5.55 pm

Tell me on my face, I will resign: Uddhav Thackeray to MLAs in Guwahati

“If my own people don’t want me as CM, they should tell me on my face. I will resign. But come in front of me. Tell this on my face,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says in a Facebook live.

“I will resign. But don’t tell me this from Surat. I will keep my resignation letter ready. Come,” Mr. Thackeray says adding, “Tell me that I am unfit for this post on my face. I will come with you to Governor’s house.” - Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 5.44 pm

Uddhav Thackeray goes live on Facebook

Maharashtra | 5.42 pm

Shiv Sena can’t be separated from Hindutva, says Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

Assam | 5.20 pm

46 MLAs with us, not received any proposal from BJP, says Eknath Shinde

High voltage political drama intensified in Maharashtra as rebel Shiv Sena leader and State Cabinet Minister Eknath Shinde claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs.

“Right now we have 46 MLAs with us, including 6-7 Independent MLAs. This number will rise in the time to come. As of now we have neither received any proposal from BJP nor are we holding any talks with them,” Mr. Shinde told ANI over the phone.

Mr. Shinde said that the rebel MLAs are not in talks with the Shiv Sena or CM Uddhav Thackeray.

“As far as the current political situation is concerned, I would say that we are Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sainiks and will continue to be Shiv Sainiks. As of now, we are not holding any talks with Shiv Sena or the Chief Minister. We have not decided on the future course of action,” added Shinde. | Reports ANI

Assam | 5.08 pm

34 Sena MLAs pass resolution, state Eknath Shinde is Legislature Party leader

Shiv Sena Legislature Party resolution passed y’day which carries signatures of 34 MLAs states Eknath Shinde unanimously elected as leader of Shiv Sena Legislature Party in 2019 and continues to be leader of Shiv Sena Legislature Party. Bharat Gogawale appointed as Chief Whip.

Shiv Sena Legislature Party resolution carrying signatures of 34MLA stating that Eknath Shinde remains as leader of Shiv Sena Legislature Party has been sent to Governor. | Reports ANI

Surat | 5.04 pm

Boost for Eknath Shinde as two more MLAs supporting him arrive in Surat, to be flown to Guwahati

In a shot in the arm for dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, two more MLAs arrived in Gujarat’s Surat today afternoon, from where they will be flown to Guwahati in Assam, where other party rebels are camping at present, sources said.

This is likely to add to the woes of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which is battling a survival crisis following the rebellion of senior Sena minister Mr. Shinde and a sizeable number of MLAs belonging to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. Mr. Shinde has claimed that he has 46 MLAs supporting him.

Hours after Mr. Shinde and the group of MLAs were shifted to Assam, Manjula Gavit, an independent MLA who represents the Sakri Assembly constituency, and Yogesh Kadam, who is Sena’s legislator from Dapoli Assembly segment in Maharashtra, arrived in Surat this afternoon.

Sources claimed that a third Shiv Sena MLA would also join the group of rebel legislators led by Shinde and reach the Gujarat city later during the day. - PTI

Maharashtra | 3.46 pm

Eknath Shinde discards party whip as Shiv Sena calls meeting of MLAs

Struggling to tide over the internecine crisis, the Shiv Sena has asked all its MLAs in Maharashtra, including the rebels accompanying dissident leader Eknath Shinde, to attend a legislature party meeting here at 5.00 p.m. or face action under the anti-defection law.

Hitting back, Eknath Shinde tweets discarding whip the issued by Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu to Sena MLAs. Shinde says that MLA Bharat Gogawale is appointed as the chief whip and hence Prabhu’s letter holds no importance. - Alok Deshpande & PTI

Maharashtra | 3.27 pm

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in numbers

Maharashtra | 3.07 pm

‘Missing’ Shiv Sena MLA returns within hours of arriving in Assam, says he was forcibly admitted to hospital, given injections

Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh, who had accompanied party rebel Eknath Shinde to Surat, on Wednesday claimed that some people had forcibly admitted him to a hospital there and he was administered injections though he never suffered a heart attack.

Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport, the MLA said he somehow managed to return safely to Maharashtra from Surat and pledged loyalty to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

“I am a Shivsainik of Uddhav Thackeray and Balasaheb Thackeray. I am in good health. On Tuesday, I was taken to a hospital in Surat by 20-25 people and police personnel. They said I had suffered a heart attack but I never suffered any heart attack. My blood pressure also didn’t shoot up. Their intention was wrong. I was given some injections forcibly,” he claimed.

A day earlier, Deshmukh’s wife had filed a complaint with the Akola police stating that her husband had gone missing.

Deshmukh represents the Balapur assembly seat in the Akola district in the Vidarbha region. - PTI


A recap of political events leading to formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi

Even as the current political situation unfolds in Maharashtra, we offer a recap of the month-long political crisis in the State that resulted in the breaking of the BJP-Sena alliance and the formation of a new one between the Sena, the NCP, and the Congress — namely, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’.

Maharashtra | 2.59 pm

CM Thackeray says no proposal to dissolve Assembly: Maharashtra Congress chief

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has made it clear that there was no proposal to recommend dissolution of the State Assembly.

Mr. Patole’s remarks came in the backdrop of reports that the ongoing political developments in the State could lead to dissolution of the Assembly.

“We will run the government effectively,” Mr. Patole said quoting Mr. Thackeray.

Mr. Patole told reporters that Mr. Thackeray has asserted that the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi will sail through the present crisis. - PTI

Assam | 2.48 pm

Assam CM emerges player in Maharashtra political crisis

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, known to have had a hand in making and breaking governments in the northeast, has emerged as a major player in the Maharashtra political crisis.

Soon after 40 Maharashtra MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader and Minister Eknath Shinde were escorted to a luxury hotel in Guwahati on Wednesday morning, the Congress and other Opposition parties slammed Mr. Sarma for “shameful indulgence” in the political crisis in another State when millions were caught in a rain-induced crisis in Assam.

“The Chief Minister of Assam should concentrate on his own job and provide adequate relief and rehabilitation to the flood-affected people in the State. He can do his politicking in happier times,” Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah said.

Maharashtra | 2.30 pm

Shiv Sena issues whip to MLAs

Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu has written to rebel MLA Shambhuraje Desai asking him to remain present in a meeting of party MLAs called by CM. Warns that remaining absent would be considered as his voluntary decision to quit the party membership.

His absence will lead to initiation of action to disqualify you as per the law, the letter states.

It is not immediately clear if all rebel MLAs have received such correspondence. - Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 1.53 pm

No decision until MLAs return to Maharashtra: Sanjay Raut on question of CM’s resignation

“There will be no decision until all MLAs return to Maharashtra,” says Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut when asked about whether CM Uddhav Thackeray will resign today. - Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 12:47 pm

Kamal Nath says cabinet will not be dissolved

Kamal Nath says, “We are confident that the Shiv Sena remains strong and United under Uddhav Thackeray. I do not think that cabinet will dissolve assembly.”

Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray tests positive for COVID-19. He will attend cabinet meeting via video conferencing. -Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 12:01 pm

Discussions with Eknath Shinde positive: Sanjay Raut

Even as rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with some party MLAs have moved to Guwahati in Assam, Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said he has been holding discussions with Shinde and the talks are “positive”.

Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr. Raut said Mr. Shinde has not put forth any conditions before the party, and those discussions are also underway with other Sena leaders who are with Mr. Shinde. -PTI

Maharashtra | 11:59 am

Sanjay Raut says Maharashtra politics is heading towards dissolving of the assembly

As Mr. Shinde who is stationed in Guwahati claimed the support of 40 MLAs, senior Sena leader and vociferous supporter of the MVA experiment Sanjay Raut tweeted that Maharashtra’s political developments are heading towards dissolvement of Assembly. -Alok Deshpande

Maharashtra | 11:30 am

Congress MLAs not for sale: Kamal Nath on Maharashtra political crisis

Amid the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government facing a crisis following the revolt by a section of its MLAs, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Wednesday said his party is united and its MLAs are “not for sale”.

Mr. Nath, who was on Tuesday appointed as the AICC observer in Maharashtra in the wake of the political turmoil in the state, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar are expected to meet Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray around noon. -PTI

11:23 am

Aaditya Thackeray removes Tourism Minister portfolio from Twitter bio?

CM Thackeray’s son and State’s Environment and Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray removed the minister tag from his Twitter bio.

Sena RS MP Priyanka Chaturvedi has said that Aaditya Thackeray never had minister tag on his Twitter bio. -Alok Deshpande

9:54 am

We are upset with NCP, Congress style of functioning, have no complaints against Sena chief: Rebel MLAs

A Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, who is among the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde, on Wednesday said they do not have any complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress, the other two ruling alliance partners in the State.

The Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis, arrived in Assam’s Guwahati city by a chartered flight on Wednesday. -PTI

9:25 am

Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik says party should renew ties with BJP

Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik on Wednesday said the party should renew ties with the BJP, as the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government faces a crisis following a revolt by a section of Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.

Mr. Sarnaik, the MLA from Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada constituency, has been facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. He had last year written a letter to Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, saying the party should team up with the BJP to save its leaders from action by central agencies. -PTI

Maharashtra | 9:06 am

Maharashtra CM to hold a cabinet meeting

CM Uddhav Thackeray has called a cabinet meeting at 1 pm at Mantralaya where he is likely to announce the future course of action. 

Assam | 8:47 am

Over 30 Maharashtra MLAs arrive in Guwahati

Rebel Maharashtra minister and independent Bachchu Kadu says on Television that 33 Sena MLAs and three independents are in Guwahati with Eknath Shinde at the moment. -Alok Deshpande

This photo is from a hotel in Surat where 35 MLAs are seen

This photo is from a hotel in Surat where 35 MLAs are seen | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Assam | 8:08 am

Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs arrive in Assam

A chartered flight carrying Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party bringing a crisis to the MVA government in Maharashtra, arrived here early Wednesday.

Sources said that the flight from Surat in Gujarat landed at Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport at around 6.30 am.

The exact number of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs travelling in the flight is not known immediately but the flight had 89 passengers, including onboard crew, sources said. -PTI

Assam | 8 am

I have 40 MLAs with me: Shinde claims from Guwahati

Eknath Shinde, the leader of rebellion in ruling Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed he has 40 MLAs with him.

Mr. Shinde, who arrived at the Guwahati airport, spoke to reporters for the first time since his decision to rebel against his own party.

Maharashtra | June 21

Shiv Sena houses its MLAs in Mumbai hotels to avoid poaching

The Shiv Sena has housed its MLAs in different hotels in Mumbai after its senior leader and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde rebelled against the party and camped at Surat in Gujarat along with some fellow dissident legislators, an MLA said on Tuesday night.

Party MLAs have been housed at different hotels in Mumbai, the MLA from the city said.

This has been done to avoid poaching of legislators, the MLA said. -PTI

Policemen stand guard outside the residence of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, amid speculations of him joining the BJP along with other Shiv Sena MLAs, in Thane, June 21, 2022

Policemen stand guard outside the residence of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, amid speculations of him joining the BJP along with other Shiv Sena MLAs, in Thane, June 21, 2022 | Photo Credit: PTI

Mumbai | June 21

Shinde urged Thackeray to renew ties with BJP, claims Sena leader

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde had on Monday urged Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to renew the party’s alliance with the BJP, a senior Sena leader claimed.

The leader said Mr. Thackeray had sent his confidante Milind Narvekar and Mr. Shinde’s aide Ravindra Phatak to Surat to talk to the rebel leader, who is camping there along with other Sena MLAs since Monday night. A call was made to Mr. Thackeray from Surat, the leader said. -PTI

Gujarat | June 21

Sena minister Shinde meets MLA Nitin Deshmukh at Surat hospital

Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde, who is camping in a hotel in Gujarat’s Surat city along with other rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, met party legislator Nitin Deshmukh at the civil hospital here on Tuesday night, sources said.

Mr. Deshmukh was rushed to the civil hospital from the hotel on Monday night itself after his health deteriorated, they said, but did not elaborate on the nature of his ailment that led to the hospitalization. -PTI

Maaharashtra | June 21

BJP exploring possibility of government formation in Maharashtra, says BJP leader

A senior BJP leader from Maharashtra on Tuesday evening said his party was exploring the possibility of government formation in the State, amid a crisis in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi due to the rebellion of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde while party leaders held a series of meetings to firm up a strategy.

Speaking to PTI on the condition of anonymity, the leader, who had served as a minister in the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government, added that “our priority is for the smooth transition of power”. -PTI

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