Uddhav Thackeray quits as Maharashtra CM ahead of floor test

Uddhav Thackeray | ANI

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray resigns ahead of the floor test on Thursday. His resignation came minutes after Supreme Court dismissed a plea demanding a stay on Maharashtra Governor's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday. "I am quitting as member of Legislative Council," Thackeray said in a webcast minutes after SC pronounced its verdict.

"I am not the one to be scared, but rather than spilling the blood of the Shiv Sainiks on the streets, I will step down," he said.

"I had come (to power) in an unexpected manner and I am going out in a similar fashion. I am not going away forever, I will be here, and I will once again sit in Shiv Sena Bhawan. I will gather all my people. I am resigning as the CM & as an MLC," he said. I want to express my gratitude to the people of NCP and Congress that they supported me. From Shiv Sena, Anil Parab, Subhash Desai and Aaditya Thackeray, these people were only present when the proposal was passed while NCP & Cong people also supported the proposal, he added.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala had earlier in the day reserved the decision on the plea filed by Sunil Prabhu challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's direction to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to hold the floor test on June 30 (Thursday).

The MVA government in Maharashtra is facing a political crisis after a revolt in Shiv Sena. The rebel MLAs led by Eknath Shinde have been camping in Guwahati.

Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing rebel Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde, told the bench in SC, "First and foremost it is to be decided if the Speaker has to be removed or not," referring to Nabam Rebia's decision that disqualification cannot be decided until a decision on Speaker's removal is taken"

"This unfolding situation requires a floor test and Governor in his discretion has decided to hold it.I have seen everyone keen to take the floor test. I have seldom seen a party so afraid to conduct a floor test. Normally parties rush to Court to say hold the floor test because someone else is hijacking the party. Here, the opposite is sought, the party wants no floor test. Where does the natural dance of democracy take place?" he said.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Prabhu, said it is repeatedly argued by the other side that the Speaker is always suspect, always a political, "but the Governor is a holy cow".

"That Governor can never be wrong, but the Speaker, the persona designate under 10th schedule is political. Those who believe that the Speaker is only political and Governor can never be political, I tell them, wake up and smell the coffee, don't live in ivory towers. This is a Governor who has not allowed nominations to MLC for one year."

"Does the Governor have a single sentence in the order that the issue is subjudice before the

Supreme Court and despite that I am exercising? Two days before the Governor comes to Raj Bhavan, meets the leader of the opposition yesterday and issues the order today. But the Speaker is to be always a suspect. Governors are not angles. They are humans. The Governor did not address the issue of sub judice. He did not verify. He did not call the Chief Minister for his view," Singhvi said. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked the Uddhav Thackeray government in the state to prove a majority on the floor of the House on June 30 stating that the "present political scenario" unfolding in the state paints a "very disturbing picture."

The Governor wrote to the state Assembly secretary to convene a special session of the State Assembly tomorrow with the only agenda of a trust vote against CM Thackeray.

According to the notification, the session will commence at 11 am and will be telecast live.

BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met the Governor on Tuesday evening after returning from Delhi, and submitted a letter to him demanding an immediate floor test.


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