Shiv Sena workers raised slogans and showered petals on the CM as he left his official house along with his family members at around 9.50 pm. He reached outside Matoshri at around 10.30 pm. However, it took another 40 minutes for the CM to cover a short distance from outside Matoshri to inside his residence. Amid the escalating political crisis in Maharashtra triggered by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Uddhav, in an address to the state, had stated: "I will submit my resignation letter if they come and ask for it. If any MLA wants me to not continue as the CM, I am ready to take all my belongings from Varsha Bungalow (official residence of the CM) to Matoshree."
Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut asserted Thackeray will not resign following the rebellion and maintained the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will prove its majority in the Assembly if required.
Thackeray, through a Facebook live, reached out to rebels with an emotional appeal and offered to quit, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him. Thackeray said he was ready to step down if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him, all camping in Guwahati in the BJP-ruled Assam, declare that they don't want him to continue as CM.
Thackeray, who has tested positive for Covid-19, admitted to being inexperienced and clarified that a spine surgery late last year kept him away from meeting people. Recalling the events of November 2019 when the MVA took shape, Thackeray said he agreed to become CM despite his political inexperience after NCP president Sharad Pawar suggested him to take up the job.
Thackeray said he was shocked at the ongoing political developments in the state, which started on Monday night when Shinde (58) raised a banner of revolt and landed in a hotel in Surat with a bunch of disgruntled MLAs. The CM reiterated his party's commitment to Hindutva. "Hindutva is Shiv Sena's breath. I was the first CM to speak about Hindutva in the Legislative Assembly," Thackeray said.
Showing no signs of backing down from his revolt, Shinde said MVA was an "unnatural" alliance and it was imperative for the Shiv Sena to walk out of the coalition for its own sake and that of party workers. The Sena strongman said the MVA was beneficial only to alliance partners the Congress and the NCP, while ordinary Shiv Sainiks have suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition's existence.
Shortly after landing in Guwahati, Assam along with other rebel MLAs from Maharashtra, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde told reporters there were 40 MLAs present along with him, who would "carry forward Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva". Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena shifted its 12 MLAs to the St Regis hotel in Lower Parel.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari tested positive for Covid-19, and was admitted to the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in south Mumbai for treatment. The 80-year-old, who has been seen wearing a face mask at public events, said his symptoms were mild and he has been admitted in hospital as a precautionary measure.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA, has 55 MLAs, followed by allies the NCP (53) and the Congress (44) in the 288-member assembly where the current simple majority mark is 144. Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed that 14 to 15 Sena MLAs, including some ministers, are with Shinde in Gujarat's Surat city. However, another party leader had said the number could be 23. This is for the first time that the rebel MLAs outside the northeast region have been brought to Assam.