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Friday, July 12, 2024

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Resigns, MVA Government Collapses

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis may take oath as the Maharashtra CM on July first

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. MUMBAI: Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and Chief Minister of the three-party Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government, resigned from the CM’s post on Wednesday night, soon after the Supreme Court (SC) refused to stay the Maharashtra Assembly floor test directed by the Governor, thus clearing the way for BJP-led Opposition to form the next Government.

The SC order by the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala came after a lengthy hearing on a plea by Shiv Sena chief whip MLA Sunil Prabhu challenging the Maharashtra Governor’s direction to CM Thackeray to face a trust vote. The Governor’s directions were motivated and arbitrary, the petitioner said. At the same time, the Shiv Sena rebel camp led by MLA Eknath Shinde told the court that 39 MLAs were part of the dissident group.

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The SC said the result of the floor test would be subject to the outcome of the case related to the earlier disqualification of 16 MLAs by the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, which is to be heard on July 11. The issues relating to the speaker and the Governor’s power will listen to that day. 

Thackeray submitted his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari around 11.00 pm on Wednesday. The Governor asked him to continue as a caretaker CM until the new incumbent took over. Thackeray was accompanied by his sons Tejas, Aditya, and Shiv Sena leaders-Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, Minister Anil Parab, MLA Sunil Prabhu, MLA Ajay Chowdhary, MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, Deputy Chairperson of the State Legislative Council Dr Nilam Gorhe, and others.

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Dr Nilam Gorhe told the media that the Governor had asked Thackeray to continue as the caretaker CM until a new CM is sworn-in. As usual, she added, the Shiv Sena will continue to do its work and reach out to people.

Shiv Sena MLA and leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature party Ajay Chowdhary said that the strength of the original group might come down due to rebellion. Still, the original group will remain the official Shiv Sena legislature Party. The legislature party and basic political Party are separate issues.

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Earlier, Thackeray broke the news of his resignation while addressing people via FaceBook Live. He also said he would resign even as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC). “I am not keen on number games, but I am not going forever; I will focus my energies on rebuilding the party”.

He also thanked the Governor for his “democratic action” of convening a session for a floor test within 24 hours. In a subtle dig, he stated that he should show the same zeal and approve the 12 names recommended by the Maharashtra government to be appointed as the MLCs, pending with him for over a year.    

Thackeray said if all those commoners made MLAs, Ministers by his father’s late Balasaheb, are happy by dethroning his son, then let them enjoy. He also asked Shiv Sainiks not to react to the rebels and shed their blood. The Union government has requisitioned Central Reserve Police Force to protect the rebels. It may bring in an army from other countries. Let the rebels and the ensuing Government celebrate the formation of the new Government in a “democratic way”, he added.      

 Thackeray said that he described the work done during his two and half years tenure. “What I did during my tenure was for Marathi people and Hindutva. There were riots across the country, but Maharashtra was calm, and it was an exception even during the Citizenship Amendment Act (Bill) protests and the agitation against the National Registry of Citizens. I would also like to thank my Muslim brethren.” He also thanked his alliance partners Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi for their support towards renaming Aurangabad district as “Sambhajinagar” and Osmanabad district as “Dharashiv”. The suggestion to rename Aurangabad was made by my father Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray long back”, he added.

He said that soon after the MVA Government came to power, a sizable provision of funds was made to maintain the historic Raigad Fort in the Konkan region properly. The waiver of farm loans, implementation of the crop insurance scheme based on the “Beed pattern”, and allotment of a plot of land for providing housing to state government employees at Bandra in northwest Mumbai were some of the significant decisions.

On Wednesday, the state cabinet also took a couple of important decisions. They included: the appointment of Vivek Phansalkar, 1989 IPS batch officer, as the new Mumbai Police Commissioner (in place of retiring Sanjay Pandey), the decision to name Navi Mumbai International Airport after D B Patil, to set up Balasaheb Thackeray Turmeric Research and Training Centre at Hingoli in Marathwada region, to set up a Civil Court at Karjat in Ahmednagar district, implementation of “Kranti Jyoti Savitribai Phule” housing scheme for the especially backward and other backward class people in rural areas, to reconstitute the development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada and rest of Maharashtra and creation of additional posts for selected candidates belonging to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes(SEBC), who could not be appointed due to cancellation of Maratha reservations.     

Congress

Sunil Kedar (Congress) stated that CM Thackeray had no prior administrative experience, yet he dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic. “He underwent life-saving surgery.” Who has returned to work within a month of having spinal surgery? Please only give me one name. This man did that. Even the Prime Minister praised him for his bravery. If such a man is deceived, we’d like to know what the public thinks about it,” he said.

BJP

Soon after Thackeray resigned, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with party MLAs. The BJP MLAs reached the Taj President hotel in South Mumbai for the legislative meeting. CT Ravi, the BJP National General Secretary in charge of Goa, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, was scheduled to arrive in Mumbai.

NCP leaders reach Mumbai 

NCP leaders across the state rushed to Mumbai for the special meeting that Dilip Walse Patil, Praful Patel, Hasan Mushrif, and others attended.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury

Sitaram Yechury, the leader of the CPI(M), took to Twitter and wrote, “The large black blot on India’s democracy continues to grow. Goa, MP (after the pandemic was declared), Karnataka, and Maharashtra have all been affected. To capture governments, gross and brazen abuse of state machinery, central agencies, and massive money power accumulated through loot of national assets have occurred.”

Now the focus will be on Raj Bhavan. BJP leaders are expected to meet the Governor to stake claims to form the next Government in the state. The swearing-in of the Fadnavis-led ministry may take place soon.

Also Read: 13 Nigerian States Get N22.79bn to Enroll Out-Of-School Children

Author

  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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