Amid rebellion within the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that he will quit as chief minister and leave his official residence if even one of the rebellious MLAs says they don't want him as CM.
He said, "I have kept letter of my resignation as chief minister ready, willing to resign as CM this very moment."
Uddhav added that he is "not willing to continue as chief minister".
He further said that he is willing to quit as Shiv Sena chief too, but disgruntled party members should come to him and tell him so.
"Why make statements from Surat [where rebels headed first on Monday] and other places. Come and tell me on my face that I am incompetent to handle the post of Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president. I will resign immediately. I will keep my resignation letter ready and you can come and take it to the Raj Bhavan," said Uddhav.
This comes as senior Sena leader Eknath Shinde has plunged the Sena-led Maharashtra government into crisis. Shinde has rebelled against the government and is camping in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Assam, saying he has support of 46 MLAs.
This means that if Shinde and MLAs that he says are with him defect, the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition would lose majority as its numbers would come down from 152 to 105. The majority-mark is 145 in the 288-member assembly.
Speaking on allegations that Shiv Sena under him has deviated from founder Bal Thackeray's Hindutva, he said rebels were seeking to appropriate the Hindutva plank and raising question mark on the Shiv Sena's commitment to the ideology.
He said, "These days there is a talk about the Shiv Sena not being the party of [founder] Balasaheb Thackeray and giving up Hindutva. Hindutva is Shiv Sena's breath. I was the first CM to speak about Hindutva in the Legislative Assembly."
Earlier on Wednesday, senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said ongoing political developments in the state could lead to dissolution of Maharashtra assembly.
"The political developments in Maharashtra are headed towards dissolution of the state Assembly," said Raut in a tweet.
Later when asked to elaborate on the tweet, Raut said, "When such a situation arises in any state, I have seen that the Legislative Assembly is dissolved."
He avoided the question on whether Uddhav will resign.
However, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Wednesday said Uddhav has made it clear that there was no proposal to recommend dissolution of the state Assembly.
"We will run the government effectively," Patole said quoting Uddhav.
(With PTI inputs)