Amid the dramatic political crisis in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray stepped down as the chief minister of the state on Wednesday, 29 June following the Supreme Court's order to conduct a floor test tomorrow.
After the resignation, rebel Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar, speaking on behalf of the Eknath Shinde camp, said that the news of Thackeray's resignation was a sad one for them. Kesarkar blamed Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut, along with the Congress and the NCP for the crisis.
Kasekar said, "This is a sad news for us. Along with the NCP and the Congress, Sanjay Raut is responsible for this. His comments widened the divide between the Centre and the state and Maharashtra had to suffer for it," he told ABP Majha.
Kesarkar further said that the allies made constant efforts to sideline the Shiv Sena.
"He [Uddhav Thackeray] respected Pawar's words more than ours since he is a senior leader. But he never understood that Pawar will think only for his party and not ours. This is the result of it," Kesarkar said.
"None of the Sena MLAs asked for his resignation, but Pawar did. Pawar made it a legal battle and got disqualification processes initiated against us. Was a Shiv Sainik more important or Pawar?" he asked."
Kesarkar further said that the allies made constant efforts to sideline the Shiv Sena. He added:
"He [Uddhav Thackeray] respected Pawar's words more than ours since he is a senior leader. But he never understood that Pawar will think only for his party and not ours. This is the result of it."
"None of the Sena MLAs asked for his resignation, but Pawar did. Pawar made it a legal battle and got disqualification processes initiated against us. Was a Shiv Sainik more important or Pawar?" he asked.
Further, one of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, Bharat Gogawale, on Wednesday night said they will hold meetings at a five-star hotel in Goa where they are staying for the night and discuss their next steps Thackeray's resignation.
"It is not like we are very happy with the decision of Uddhav Thackeray stepping down as the CM. We are heading towards our hotel. Once we reach there, we will discuss the issue and decide our next steps. He (Thackeray) tried to convince us," Gogawale said.
Celebrations Break Out at Mumbai BJP Office
Meanwhile, the mood at the BJP office in Mumbai was celebratory following Thackeray's resignation with chants in support of former CM Devendra Fadnavis.
After maintaining that the BJP had nothing to do with the crisis and had not contacted rebel leader Eknath Shinde at any point, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Wednesday said that the rebel Sena leaders should return to Mumbai only on the "day of oath-taking."
Fadnavis said that he will speak to the media on the party's strategy on Thursday.
Patil added that the CM's resignation is not a cause for celebration, adding that this would not have happened if the Shiv Sena would not have joined hands with the Congress and the NCP.
"If they would not have gone with the Congress and NCP and held on to the Hindutva agenda, this would not have happened. They formed an unsustainable alliance," he said.
"I want to appeal to all the BJP workers across the state that victory must be accepted with humility. Uddhav thackeray's resignation is no cause to celebrate," he added.
Several BJP legislators and senior leaders gathered at the residence of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, while several leaders including state unit president Chandrakant Patil, congratulated each other on the collapse of the Shiv Sena-led MVA government.
‘History Is Witness, Betrayal Never Ends Well': Sanjay Raut
Taking to Twitter, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, "CM Uddhav Thackeray has stepped down humbly. We have lost a sensitive and decent chief minister. History is witness, betrayal never ends well. This is the beginning of a great victory for the Shiv Sena. We will face lathis and jail if needed, but will keep Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sena alive."
Shiv Sena spokesperson deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also thanked Thackeray and said, "You took up the difficult task of leading a new alliance, helped the state navigate through pandemic, ensured the fire of communal hate didn’t singe our state, kept the interest of state & its people above all without prejudice."
Maharashtra Congress Chief Lauds Uddhav's Tenure
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole took to Twitter to say, "Uddhav Ji was one of the finest chief ministers. With administrative experience, he handled the state in the best possible manner in its toughest times. You will be remembered by the people as one of the most sensitive chief ministers. Thank you!"
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said, "The Supreme Court's order was confusing and unclear. There was a lot of uncertainty. the court changed its previous order of status quo till 11 July. We did not expect this from the apex court," he told ABP Majha.
"Uddhav ji should have come to the House tomorrow, placed his side before the people, and should have resigned before the floor test," he added.