Eknath Shinde takes oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Fadnavis as Deputy CM
Eknath Shinde, who led a revolt against Shiv Sena leading to the collapse of the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday evening.
He was administered an oath by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Deputy Chief Minister. Fadnavis, who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014-19, announced at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Thursday that Eknath Shinde will be the new CM. Fadnavis also announced at the press conference that he will not be part of the government. Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet later that Fadnavis has decided to be part of the new government in Maharashtra in the interest of the people of the state after a word from BJP chief JP Nadda and congratulated him for his decision. He said in a tweet that Fadnavis has shown a "big heart" and the decision reflects his true dedication and attitude of service towards Maharashtra. "On the word of BJP chief JP Nadda, Devendra Fadnavis, showing a big heart, has decided to be part of the government in the interest of Maharashtra and the people of the state. This decision reflects his true dedication and attitude of service towards Maharashtra. I congratulate him from the bottom of my heart," Amit Shah said.
Nadda told ANI that the party's central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should be part of the new Maharashtra government and a request to him and directions have been given that he should take charge as Deputy Chief Minister. Nadda said that Fadnavis had shown a "big heart" in announcing that he will personally not be part of the government and Shinde will get full support of BJP. Nadda said BJP's central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should become a part of the government and assume responsibility. "A request has been made to Devendraji personally and central leadership has given directions that Devendraji should assume responsibility as Deputy Chief Minister and use his full energy for fulfilling expectations of the people of Maharashtra and contribute to making Maharashtra a developed state," he said.
Referring to Fadnavis announcing that he will not be part of the government, Nadda said that is shows the character of BJP workers and leaders and shows that "we are not for any post but for ideology". Earlier in the day, Shinde and Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to stake a claim to form the government in the state. "After the swearing-in ceremony today, we will have a cabinet expansion and Shiv Sena and BJP leaders will take the oath. I will stay out of the government," Fadnavis said. "In 2019, BJP and Shiv Sena had an alliance and we got the required numbers in Assembly elections. We hoped to form the government but Shiv Sena chose to get into an alliance with those against whom Balasaheb protested throughout his life. Shiv Sena insulted the mandate of the people." "Shiv Sena MLAs were demanding that the alliance with Congress and NCP should be ended but Uddhav Thackeray ignored these MLAs and gave priority to MVA alliance partners, that's why these MLAs intensified their voices," he added.
Uddhav Thackeray's resignation as chief minister on Wednesday came days after Shinde led a rebellion with at least 39 Shiv Sena MLAs. Shinde, who was also present at the press conference with Fadnavis, said the decision taken is committed to Bal Thackeray's Hindutva and for development work in the constituencies of the 50 MLAs supporting him. "A total of 50 MLAs are with us, including 40 MLAs 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," Shinde said. "The decision that we have taken is committed to Balasaheb's Hindutva and for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs. We have 50 MLAs with us," he added. The Shiv Sena leader further said that though BJP has 120 MLAs, but Fadnavis did not take up the post of Chief Minister. "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," he said.