Uddhav Thackeray wanted to quit but was stopped twice by senior alliance leader: Reports
Mumbai/IBNS: Facing rebellion from Eknath Shinde and other Shiva Sena MLAs, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wanted to resign but was stopped twice by a senior alliance leader, media reports quoting sources said on Monday.
The name of the leader has not been revealed but speculations claim it was Sharad Pawar, the chief architect behind the forming Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition that melded ideologically opposed parties.
Pawar held multiple meetings with Thackeray amid the rebel crisis.
Thackeray, as per NDTV's sources, would have resigned on June 21 (last Tuesday), the day Eknath Shinde and 21 rebels moved to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat and went incommunicado.
He decided to quit the same day and had planned to announce it in a Facebook live stream around 5 pm as the chief minister had a feeling that many more rebels were waiting to cross over.
"But he was persuaded not to quit by the biggest leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance," the sources told NDTV.
The next day, Thackeray again decided to announce his resignation and even called a meeting of officials by way of a farewell, said reports
But the top leader once again learnt of his intentions and stepped in.
Thackeray had called a Facebook Live at 4 pm, amid huge signs that he could resign, but it was delayed by at least half an hour.
"The reason it was delayed was that the top leader tried to talk Mr Thackeray out of resigning," NDTV reported quoting sources.
He later made an address on Facebook and said he was "ready with his resignation letter" but wanted the rebels to say it to his face. "I will quit if even one rebel comes to me and complains to me in person," Thackeray had said.
Hours later, he also moved out of the Chief Minister's official bungalow in Mumbai and returned to his family home "Matoshree", which turned into a huge show of strength by supporters of the Thackerays.
However, even after Thackeray's appeal, including a direct phone call, Eknath Shinde and the rebels flew to Assam, another BJP-ruled state.
The rebel group has only grown since then as there are some 50-plus MLAs, including 40 from the Sena, lodged at the five-star hotel in Guwahati, said reports.