Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde will be the next Maharashtra Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis his deputy, the BJP announced on Thursday. “I will stay out of the government and ensure it runs smoothly,” Mr Fadnavis said, announcing that Mr Shinde will be sworn in at 7:30 pm. No other minister will take oath today, the BJP leader said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter and wrote, “On the behest of BJP President Shri @JPNadda ji, Shri @Dev_Fadnavis ji has taken a big heart and decided to join the government in the interest of the state of Maharashtra and the people. This decision is a sign of his true loyalty and service towards Maharashtra. For this I heartily congratulate him.”
BJP chief JP Nadda said, “He must be Deputy Chief Minister… I will personally request him.” Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that Mr Fadnavis had graciously accepted the request.
“I wouldn’t be part of the government,” Fadnavis announced at the press conference after meeting Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at the Raj Bhavan.
“The Shinde led government will resolve many issues which have been stalled for last two and a half years effectively. Reservation to Marathas, OBCs and the completion of the infrastructure projects will be the priorities of the new government,” Fadnavis said.
“Shiv Sena went with the people whom Balasaheb Thackeray opposed all his life. The Thackeray government was corruption-ridden and it led to two ministers going to jail under corruption charges,” he said.
“We quit MVA for the development of the state and the constituencies of MLAs,” Shinde said during the presser.
Eknath Shinde thanked PM Modi, Mr Fadnavis and other BJP leaders. “It’s their magnanimity. They had a bigger mandate, yet they made me the Chief Minister. Who does that?” he said. Earlier in the day, Shinde arrived in Mumbai from Goa and headed to Devendra Fadnavis’ residence. The duo held a brief meeting before leaving for the governor house.