'Uddhav Thackeray would have continued as Maharashtra CM even today if...': NCP's Ajit Pawar

Uddhav Thackeray had to resign as chief minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on June 29 this year following a revolt led by Eknath Shinde.

'Uddhav Thackeray would have continued as Maharashtra CM even today if...': NCP's Ajit Pawar

New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar on Thursday (October 13, 2022) said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would have continued as Maharashtra chief minister even today if he had sought senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal's help during the crisis earlier this year. Due to the rebellion of around 40 Shiv Sena MLAs under Eknath Shinde's leadership, Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had toppled on June 29, following which, Shinde, along with Shiv Sena's former ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), formed a new government.

Speaking at a function in Mumbai to mark Bhujbal's 75th birthday, which saw leaders of the Sena-NCP-Congress MVA coalition coming together, Pawar, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, said, "If Uddhav Thackeray had sought Bhujbal's help (during the latest crisis which toppled the MVA government), he would have continued as CM even today."

Pawar also remarked on the absence of Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis. 

"Had they attended, it would have underlined the state's political culture," he said. 

Speaking at the event, Uddhav said that Bhujbal would have become the chief minister of Maharashtra had he not quit the Shiv Sena.

"I have now become shock-proof. But when Bhujbal left the Shiv Sena, I must admit that our family was in a state of shock. The anger (that was vented) was political. We could not digest it for a long time that one of our own family members had deserted us," Thackeray said. 

"I wish my mother were there when you visited 'Matoshree' (the Thackeray residence) and resolved all differences with Balasaheb," Uddhav added.

Bhujbal, once a firebrand Shiv Sena leader, quit the Bal Thackeray-led party and joined the Congress in the 1990s. He later followed Sharad Pawar when the latter formed NCP. 

Thackeray said Bhujbal would have been the chief minister much earlier if he had not left Shiv Sena. 

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