'They will say they brought down Balasaheb's son': What Uddhav Thackeray said
Uddhav Thackeray quit as Maharashtra chief minister late Wednesday night, less than an hour after the Supreme Court cleared the decks for a floor test he was almost certain to lose. In a short speech streamed on Facebook Live, the Shiv Sena boss made one final emotional appeal to the 50 rebel lawmakers who had thrown in with Eknath Shinde (and one final jab) and thanked allies Sonia Gandhi of the Congress and Sharad Pawar of the NCP for their support.
Here are the top quotes from Uddhav Thackeray's resignation speech:
> In a democracy, heads are counted to show numbers. I am not interested in that. I don't want to play these games.
> Tomorrow they will say that they have brought down Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray's son.
> I came (to power) in an unexpected manner and am going out in a similar fashion (but) am not going away forever. I will once again sit in Shiv Sena Bhawan… I will gather all my people. I am resigning as CM & as MLC.
> Central forces are being deployed in Mumbai. It seems the Indian army on the China border will be deployed here. I am telling Shiv Sainiks to let them come.
> Who are you angry with? Me? Congress or NCP? Rather than going to Surat and speaking up you should have come to me at Matoshree. I still respect your feelings.
> The Supreme Court has given the verdict on the floor test. I want to thank the governor (Bhagat Singh Koshyari) who upheld the democracy by asking us to hold a floor test in 24 hours after a delegation met him.
The Maharashtra government has been roiled in crisis over the past week - ever since Shinde decamped to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat and then Guwahati in BJP-ruled Assam with a steadily growing following.
Shinde claims he has 50 MLAs, including 40 Sena lawmakers, behind him.
The rebels left Assam - where they were stashed at a luxury hotel in Guwahati - on a chartered SpiceJet flight this evening for Goa - booked into another luxury hotel - and were to come directly for a floor test that will now not take place.
The BJP, meanwhile, has begun celebrating the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government, with festivities breaking out at a legislative party meet in Mumbai.
A day after former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was inducted into the new BJP parliamentary board, state BJP in-charge, Arun Singh met Yediyurappa on Thursday. "I congratulate him on his appointment. He is a senior leader and has been CM four times. BJP would be able to expand throughout southern parts of the country under him," said Arun Singh after meeting him. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was also dropped from the Parliamentary board.
The Karnataka government has issued an order making it mandatory to sing the national anthem at all government and private schools as well as pre-university colleges in the state. The Basavaraj Bommai-led government released a statement to all educational institutions on Wednesday after it reportedly received complaints that the national anthem was being skipped during morning assemblies in some schools. The order also quoted Section 7(2) (g) (I) of Karnataka Education Act, 1983, which said “it is necessary to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”.
Quota-based politics seems to be returning to focus in Uttar Pradesh. A day after Bharatiya Janata Party ally, the Nishad Party, said that an announcement on moving their community from OBC to Scheduled Caste is imminent, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party has now flagged its long -standing demand for implementation of the social justice committee report. It is a demand with which BJP's other ally, Apna Dal (Sonelal), isn't comfortable with.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday that he had written to Union home minister Amit Shah urging him to clarify the Centre's stand on shifting of Rohingya Muslims to EWS flats in the national capital. He asked who took the decision on the resettlement of the Rohingyas if it was not the Centre as neither the Delhi government had decided anything on it. Sisodia said while addressing a press conference.
LUCKNOW: The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted searches at multiple premises linked to jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, 59, in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in connection with a money laundering case registered against Ansari and his brother, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Afzal Ansari in July last year, people familiar with the matter said. In Mau, ED officials also raided the premises of his three business associates including a bus operator of Mau.