Lotus to bloom? The next step in Maharashtra politics after Uddhav Thackeray quits as chief minister


“I have no regrets in leaving the chief minister’s chair. Whatever I did, I did for the Marathi people and Hindutva. Today, in front of everyone, I am announcing my resignation as chief minister of the state,” said Uddhav Thackeray as he stepped down from his post, just after the Supreme Court refused to stay Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s direction to his government to take a floor test in the Assembly.

Uddhav’s resignation caps the nine-day drama of resort politics where Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde camped in luxury hotels and hopped on chartered jets from Mumbai to Surat and Guwahati, before landing in Goa on Wednesday night.

Following his address, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray tendered his resignation to Governor Koshyari at Raj Bhavan. It has been reported that the Thackeray has been asked to continue as chief minister until arrangements are made for the future.

Uddhav was later seen leaving Raj Bhavan and driving himself to his family residence of Matoshree in Mumbai’s suburban area of Bandra while Shiv Sena workers shouted slogans in his support. Uddhav, accompanied by his sons Aaditya and Tejas, also visited a temple before heading home.

What happens next? Will the ‘Lotus’ bloom in Maharashtra again? We take a look at the possibilities that could unfold in the state.

Former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis being fed sweets by Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil during a party meeting, at Taj President Hotel in Mumbai. PTI

BJP’s new Maha chapter

Thackeray’s resignation means the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, comprising of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, and the floor test ordered by the Supreme Court is void.

It also paves the way for the return of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led dispensation in the state.

Reports state that soon after Uddhav’s resignation, BJP leaders who were at the Taj President hotel for a legislative meeting began celebrating with the distribution of sweets.

The BJP is all set to stake claim for formation of the new government in Maharashtra and will hold a meeting on the same on Thursday to finalise their next course of action.

Indicating that Devendra Fadnavis would be at the helm of affairs along with rebel leader Eknath Shinde, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “The next steps will be decided by Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde.”

According to sources, Shinde is going to be offered the job of deputy chief minister. However, it is still unknown if Shinde’s faction will form a new party or will they merge with the BJP or stake claim on the Shiv Sena. If the last option is sought, there’s a chance that Uddhav Thackeray and Co. will lose claim to their party’s bow and arrow symbol.

Effect on BMC elections?

With the BJP on the cusp of forming government at the state-level, all eyes turn towards the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Asia’s richest civic body, where the Sena continues to wield power.

Elections for the civic body are around the corner and Aaditya Thackeray has stated that the attempts to topple the government had been made to usurp the civic body.

News18 reports that with elections pending in other corporations as well, the BJP hopes to diminish any power that any other political party has in any part of the state. Assembly elections are due in two-and-a-half years.

With inputs from agencies

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Lotus to bloom? The next step in Maharashtra politics after Uddhav Thackeray quits as chief minister
Lotus to bloom? The next step in Maharashtra politics after Uddhav Thackeray quits as chief minister
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