After weeks of political turmoil, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Udhav Thackeray resigned on Wednesday nightshortly after the Supreme Court refused to continue the floor test called on Thursday by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshari.
In a Facebook address to the public, Thackeray ended the 31-month rule of the MVA and paved the way for the return of a BJP-led government. “I have no regrets about leaving the Prime Minister’s chair. Whatever I did, I did for the Marathi and Hindutva people. Today, in front of everyone I announce my resignation as Prime Minister of the State.
Thackeray’s resignation came after a week of dramatic drama, in which a group of 39 Shiv Sena rebels, led by Minister Eknath Shinde, camped in luxury hotels outside Maharashtra.
Here’s what happened in Maharashtra this week:
1. The crisis began on June 21 after suspected polling in the Legislative Council elections. Soon after, Thackeray called for an urgent meeting of the Shiv Sena MLAs. At the meeting, it was not possible to track down Sena leader Eknath Shinde and 11 MLAs. What followed was a week of resort politics, as the missing Sena leaders found camp in luxury hotels in Surat, Guwahati and now Goa.
2. The next day, in a 17-minute webcast, Thackeray said he was ready to step down as prime minister. “I am willing to resign as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, but the rebellious Maharashtra Chief Minister should be their minister only. The Prime Minister should only be from Shiv Sena. We are emotionally attached and we cannot see anyone leaving us,” Thackeray said. “.
3. With more Shiv Sena MLAs joining his faction, later known as “Shiv Sena Balasaheb”, Shinde demanded a ground test in Maharashtra, claiming that the MVA alliance was no longer the majority. The rebel MLAs demanded Thackeray’s resignation.
4. Later that week, NCP Chairman Sharad Pawar convened a meeting with all three MVA partners and reassured senior leaders that they collectively could weather the storm.
5. In a bid to regain control of his party, Udhav Thackeray presided over a meeting on Saturday of the party’s national executive which authorized him to take all decisions related to the party. Six resolutions were passed including the decision not to allow anyone other than Shiv Sena to use the name Balasaheb Thackeray, and to crack down on rebellious MLAs.
6. In their first press conference, the Shiv Sena rebel camp claimed that they would not return to Maharashtra in view of the violence that erupted there and asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ensure security for their residences and offices. Rogue cases of violence against property and offices owned by some rebel MLAs have been reported in Maharashtra.
7. Amid the escalating political turmoil, the union’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) gave central security cover to 15 rebel MLAs.
8. On Monday, the Supreme Court granted a temporary exemption to the anti-money laundering rebel group which the Vice-President of Maharashtra, Narhari Zeroal, requested to respond by Monday evening to the notices related to petitions seeking its exclusion from the assembly. The Supreme Court gave them until July 12 to submit their responses.
9. On Wednesday, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiari asked Maha Vikas Agadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray to prove its majority in the House of Representatives chamber on Thursday and convened a special session of the state assembly at 11 am.
10. The Shiv Sena rebel faction has arrived in Goa under heavy security coverage, minutes after Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation as Maharashtra chief minister on Wednesday night.