Mumbai, June 24
Launching a scorching counter-attack on the rebels, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday dared them to win the elections "without using the name of Shiv Sena or the Thackerays", even as allies Nationalist Congress Party-Congress reiterated their commitment to save the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Addressing a meeting of Sena's district heads and others, Thackeray said that he has left the official residence 'Varsha', but not lost his "will to fight" for the party.
Slamming the rebels' leader Eknath Shinde, he recalled how he did a lot for him, yet Shinde was hurling a series of baseless allegations against the Sena and Thackeray.
"I did everything possible for Shinde… I allotted him the Urban Development portfolio which I handled. His son (Dr Shrikant Shinde) is a two-time MP and now they are commenting on my son (Minister Aditya Thackeray), and levelling many allegations even against me," said Thackeray.
He challenged the rebels to show courage and go among the people without taking the names of Shiv Sena or the party founder, the late Balasaheb Thackeray.
The CM reiterated how he had become the CM against his wishes and had no desire to wield power.
"Now, those people who used to claim that they would give their lives rather than quit the Shiv Sena have fled from here. The rebels want to destroy the party… I never imagined in my dreams I would become the CM and have even offered to quit… I have vacated the 'Varsha' bungalow but not left the determination to fight out," Thaekeray asserted.
The Sena chief also threw the field open saying anybody in the party is free to leave and they can take away the MPs or others, but not the roots of the party which remains intact.
Simultaneously, the NCP-Congress have reaffirmed their resolve to fight out the political crisis unitedly and stand behind Thackeray till the end.