INDIA.MUMBAI: In his opening address following up his defeat by Eknath Shinde, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday called for fresh elections in the state and said he would not let the rebels use the Shiv Sena’s poll symbol.
“I challenge them to hold assembly elections today. If we have done wrong, people will send us home. And if this is what you had to do, then you should have done it two and half years ago, and it would have been done respectfully. There would be no need for all this to happen,” Thackeray said.
“No one can take the bow and arrow symbol from the Shiv Sena, its been our identity. My people don’t look at only the symbol, they look at the person who symbolises the symbol,” he said.
Thackeray lashed out at the rebel Shiv Sena group for staying silent when the BJP targeted and “abused” him and his family in the last two-and-a-half years. “You stayed loyal to them and betray your own party is such a shame,” he said.
“Some of our MLAs say if they are called to Matoshree, they will come. They still hold respect for me, and I am thankful for that. But if you had come to me earlier, you wouldn’t have felt the need to go to the rebels. But now you are with people who have abused my family.. They have made attacks on our reputation. So, you decide if your love and respect is real,” he said about the rebels.
“I am proud of the 15-16 MLAs who are standing by me in these tough times. This country thrives on Satyameva Jayate, not Asatyameva Jayate,” he added.
Supreme Court is all set to hear the petition seeking disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs as well as Thackeray’s agenda against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on his decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form a government. Thackeray stated that the Supreme Court’s on Monday will decide not just the future of Shiv Sena, but also the future of Indian democracy.
“We are upset as how democracy and the constitution are being treated. I have complete faith in the judiciary. Everyone is watching what decision the Supreme Court of India will make. People of the nation are watching to see how strong our democratic system is. I am convinced that the law will take its course,” he added.
Eknath Shinde conjoining with the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), led a coup in the Shiv Sena against party chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, drawing a number of MLAs to his side. Therefore, bringing down the government. Shinde was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on June 30.
Afterwards, Shinde passed the trust vote with 164 votes in the 288-member assembly of Maharashtra, way above the simple majority mark of 144. While Thackeray has lost most of his party MLAs to the rebel faction.