The Congress on Wednesday distanced itself from party leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s remarks that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should not “delay” even a moment in relinquishing the CM’s post, saying neither are these the party’s views nor is he an authorised spokesperson. In a tweet in Hindi, Krishnam said Uddhav Thackeray, respecting the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray, who never gave importance to power, and while observing moral values to protect Maratha pride, should not “delay even a moment” in relinquishing the chief minister’s post.
Tagging Krishnam’s tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said neither are these the Congress’ views nor Acharya Pramod Krishnam is an authorised spokesperson. Responding to Ramesh, Krishnam said, “Authorised is temporary, but I am permanent, if you still have any problem, ‘Jairam ji ki’.” An emotional Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday offered to quit as Maharashtra Chief Minister and extended an olive branch to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him.
The rebellion by Shinde, who has claimed the support of 46 MLAs, has pushed the two-and-a-half-year-old Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to the brink. The Sena has 55 members in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. In the wee hours of Wednesday, Shinde and other rebel MLAs were flown to Guwahati in Assam from Surat, where they had been camping since early Tuesday.