While BJP leaders and workers broke out into celebration after Thackeray resigned, top leaders of the party huddled into a meeting at a five-star hotel in south Mumbai to strategise their next move.
A source said that top BJP leaders from Maharashtra will hold a meeting on Thursday to finalise their next course of action. He added that BJP will stake claim for the formation of the new government under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis, backed the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena, which comprises 39 rebel MLAs, and Independents.
Calling for restraint in celebration, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said, “BJP workers must not celebrate Uddhavji’s resignation, they should celebrate when Devendra Fadnavis becomes the CM.”
At 62, this is the worst crisis Uddhav Thackeray has faced in his short political life, emerging from the overarching shadow of father Bal Thackeray. Not only has he lost chief ministership after taking a gamble with an unlikely coalition, he is facing the prospect of losing control of a party founded by Balasaheb and deriving sustenance from the Thackeray name.
In hindsight, it seems Uddhav sowed the seeds right at the beginning when, on November 28, 2019, he took over as Chief Minister. He thus became the first Thackeray to hold a public office, with Balasaheb choosing to let a Sainik be CM while he held full control over the party.
Amidst celebrations and showering of rose petals, his well-wishers had cautioned Uddhav at the time about the “power play” that would ensue and the “administrative” challenges of leading an unlikely coalition, including old rivals the NCP and Congress.