In a shocking twist to the week-long Maharashtra political tussle, Shiv Sena strongman Eknath Shinde was announced as the new chief minister by Devendra Fadnavis, who was earlier speculated to occupy the top post. Fadnavis, who was Uddhav’s predecessor, was believed to be the new Maharashtra chief minister with Shinde as his deputy. But in a shocker, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly announced that he won’t be a part of the government, but would extend his full support. “I will stay out of power,” Fadnavis said.
But in another turn of events, BJP national president JP Nadda said Fadnavis has been directed by the BJP leadership to be the deputy CM. “BJP central leadership has decided that Devendra ji should be part of the government and we have requested him personally also and has been directed to be deputy CM,” Nadda said.
In a tweet, Nadda then confirmed that Fadnavis has agreed to be a part of the new Maharashtra government.
भाजपा ने महाराष्ट्र की जनता की भलाई के लिए बड़े मन का परिचय देते हुए एकनाथ शिंदे जी का समर्थन करने का निर्णय किया। श्री देवेन्द्र फडणवीस जी ने भी बड़े मन दिखाते हुए मंत्रिमंडल में शामिल होने का निर्णय किया है, जो महाराष्ट्र की जनता के प्रति उनके लगाव को दर्शाता है।
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) June 30, 2022
Earlier today, addressing the media, Fadnavis said, “Eknath Shinde will be the CM, BJP will support. We will expand soon. Today at 7.30 pm, Eknath Shinde will take oath as CM of Maharashtra.” Sena (rebels), as well as BJP MLAs and some independents, will be sworn in as ministers during the expansion, he added.
Shinde, MLA from Kopri-Panchpakhadi in Thane city, was also present at the press meet. The two leaders addressed the media after they met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government.
Shinde, while addressing the media, lauded Fadnavis’s “large-heartedness” and expressed gratitude towards him for announcing him as the CM. “Fadnavis has stood behind us and supported us. Large-heartedness of Fadnavis to make me CM and it’s my job to stand against injustice.”
“BJP has 120 MLAs but despite that Devendra Fadnavis didn’t take the post of CM. I express my gratitude to him along with PM Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP leaders that they showed generosity and made Balasaheb’s Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state,” Shinde added.
Shinde also said he has the support of 50 MLAs, including 40 from Shiv Sena. “We have fought this battle so far with their help…I will not let even a scratch mar the trust that these 50 people have placed in me, let alone break that trust.”
The Sena strongman also said he took the decision to rebel against the MVA government with support of 50 MLAs for the development of the state and “there was no personal interest involved.” “There were limitations to the functioning of the MVA,” he said.
Shinde landed in Mumbai from Goa on Thursday. He has been provided with a ‘Z’ category security by the Centre. The rebel MLAs, however, are still in Goa, where they went on Wednesday after Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation.
(With PTI inputs)