A rebel Shiv Sena MLA from the Eknath Shinde camp Wednesday said the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray from the Maharashtra Chief Minister's post "is not a matter of joy for us". The rift, he indicated, was a fallout of the party's alliance with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress. He also underscored the role of Sena leader Sanjay Raut -- whose increasing prominence, according to some party insiders, had made rebel leader Eknath Shinde uncomfortable.
"Uddhav Thackeray did not take note of the issues pointed by us," Deepak Kesarkar, the spokesman of the faction, said in an exclusive interview with NDTV. "We are all sad that while fighting the NCP and the Congress, we had got angry with our leader too"
The reason, he said, was the NCP and Sanjay Raut, "whose job is to make statements every day against the central government and create bad blood between the center and the state".
The rebellion by Eknath Shinde and 50 MLAs supporting him -- 40 of them from the Shiv Sena -- has spelled the end for the alliance government led by Mr Thackeray.
The faction contended that they wished to call off the "unnatural" alliance with the ideologically incompatible Congress and the NCP and get back together with the BJP.
After the eight-day political turmoil, Mr Thackeray stepped down from the top post yesterday evening when the Supreme Court ruled that his government has to take the floor test today as ordered by the Governor.
The Team Thackeray, shrinking to 15-odd MLAs following Mr Shinde's rebellion, had asked the court to stop the floor test.
"There are many MPs who are angry because of the Congress and NCP," Mr Kesarkar underscored. "The state president of the NCP used to go to our area and announce the names of his people. It was because of us that these people came to power... Every evening Sanjay Raut was abusing (the Centre). People got upset. We prayed that no party should have such a spokesperson," he added.
The rebel MLAs, who were camping out initially in Surat and then in Guwahati, went to Goa amid the day-long suspense over the floor test.
Mr Shinde's faction declared in court that they were the real Shiv Sena and wants to renew its alliance with the BJP.
With Mr Thackeray's resignation, the floor test is now void. The BJPs Devendra Fadnavis is likely to stake claim to form government, with Mr Shinde as his deputy, sources have said.