Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray moved back to “Matoshree” — his family home — from his official residence “Varsha” on Wednesday, shortly after delivering an emotional speech for the rebels led by Eknath Shinde. Late in the evening, a huge crowd assembled outside Matoshree in a show of solidarity. Videos from the spot showed the car having trouble negotiating through the crowd. Mr Thackeray was seen getting out of the car and greeting the visitors. After exchanging civilities, they walked into the house. Mr Thackeray’s son and state minister Aaditya Thackeray was also seen greeting the party workers.
Mr Thackeray has tested positive for Covid. But his shift to the family home, strongly associated with party founder and father Balasaheb Thackeray, was seen as carrying a message.
Earlier on Wednesday, delivering a Facebook live address — his first public reaction to the political crisis that engulfed his government — Mr Thackeray said, “If my own people don’t want me as Chief Minister, he should walk up to me and say so… I’m ready to resign… I am Balasaheb’s son, I am not after a post… If you want me to resign, let me resign and take all my belongings to Matoshree”.
“I’m willing to step down, but can you promise me that the next chief minister will be from Shiv Sena?”
This was seen a direct challenge to Eknath Shinde, who has been projecting his faction as the real Shiv Sena and has been citing the Hindutva ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray, indicating that the Sena under his son was a “lite” version.