Uddhav Thackeray resigns as Maharashtra chief minister after Supreme Court allows floor test
New Delhi/IBNS: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray resigned on Wednesday, minutes after the Supreme Court allowed the floor test to prove his government's majority.
"We respect the Supreme Court judgment. Democracy must be followed," Thackeray said in an online address after which left for the Governor's residence to hand over his resignation.
"I am resigning as Chief Minister. I don't want a hand in the blood of Shiv Sainiks that may be spilled tomorrow. Those whom we promoted and built up, they are the ones who have betrayed us," an emotional Thackeray said.
Thackeray said he was also quitting as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council.
"I came to power unexpectedly and I'm exiting in a similar fashion. Sena is one family, will not let it be pulled apart. I am not going anywhere, I will gather all our supporters, we will recoup," he pleged.
The Thackeray team reduced to just about 15 MLAs, had asked the court to stop the floor test called Thursday by the Governor of the state.
The Supreme Court, however, said that the result of the trust vote will be subject to its verdict on July 11.
The apex court will then decide whether a section of MLAs from the Sena should be disqualified, as requested by Thackeray's side.
Team Thackeray has gone to the apex court with the argument that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's order is illegal as 16 rebel MLAs are yet to respond on their possible disqualification.
Meanwhile, the rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde claimed to be the real Shiv Sena in the Supreme Court.
It said when a government loses the majority, there was a risk of it misusing the office of the Speaker for its benefit.
Speaking to reporters, Shinde earlier int he day said: "We will reach Mumbai tomorrow. 50 MLAs are with us. We've two-thirds majority. We are not worried about any floor test. We will pass the test and no one can stop us. In a democracy majority matters and we have that."
They contend that their faction - far larger in size than the Chief Minister's - is now the real Shiv Sena and that the party must exit the current government, which includes the Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP as its allies, and re-enter its earlier partnership with the BJP.
The rebel MLAs, who left from Guwahati this evening, have landed in Goa. They will now head to Mumbai to take part in the no-trust vote Thursday.