Eknath Shinde Is New Maharashtra Chief Minister
Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde will be the next Maharashtra Chief Minister, the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday, in a move that very few saw coming.
“I will stay out of the government and ensure it runs smoothly,” Mr Fadnavis said.
Mr Shinde will be sworn in at 7:30 pm and no other minister will take oath today, the BJP leader said.
Mr. Fadnavis said, “I will stay out of the government and ensure that it runs smoothly.” Shinde will take oath at 7:30 pm. The BJP leader said that no other minister will take oath today.
Devendra Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to power in the afternoon.
Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra yesterday, with the Supreme Court ruling that he will have to prove his majority.
After the rebellion in three BJP-ruled states, the Shiv Sena chief was left with only 13 MLAs. Eknath Shinde and a group of rebels first went to Surat in Gujarat in luxury buses. He was sent to Guwahati in Assam on chartered flights. He reached Goa last evening to prepare for a possible test of strength.
Shiv Sena rebels spokesperson Deepak Kesarkar insisted that it was the ideology, not the greed for better positions that prompted him to switch sides and go with the BJP.
He also said that the rebels did not betray Uddhav Thackeray and still have love and respect for him. “No one in the Shiv Sena is against the Thackeray family,” he said.
“All speculations from the departments are baseless. No decision has been taken on that yet,” Kesarkar said, however, acknowledging that his talks with the BJP to form the government have already begun.
He insisted that the rebel faction is now Shiv Sena, as Uddhav Thackeray is in minority in the party. “It is not a question of who is the real Shiv Sena. We have a legal majority and so is our legislature party,” he said.
Despite evidence of its patronage and the convenience of the rebels, the BJP denied any role in the Shiv Sena’s coup. Devendra Fadnavis held two meetings with the leadership during the crisis.
In the third meeting, Eknath Shinde was being taken from Guwahati to Vadodara, which was discussed with Mr. Fadnavis and Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP’s chief strategist.