Eknath Shinde Takes Oath as Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis His Deputy

Eknath Shinde: From auto driver to Maharashtra CM
Eknath Shinde: From auto driver to Maharashtra CM

Eknath Shinde Takes Oath: CM Eknath Shinde thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Devendra Fadnavis and other BJP leaders.

Eknath Shinde Takes Oath

Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister and deputy to Devendra Fadnavis, as the BJP stunned Uddhav Thackeray with back-to-back curveballs a day earlier.

“I will stay out of the government and ensure it goes smoothly,” Mr Fadnavis told a news briefing at 4:30 pm. Only Mr. Shinde will be administered the oath later in the evening.

However, hardly three hours later, he was seen taking oath as Mr. Shinde’s deputy after BJP chief JP Nadda said, “He should be the deputy chief minister… I will personally request him.”

Eknath Shinde thanked PM Modi, Shri Fadnavis and other BJP leaders. “It’s his generosity. He had a huge mandate, yet he made me the chief minister. Who does that?” They said.

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 deceive Uddhav Thackeray and still have love and respect for him. “No one in the Shiv Sena is against the Thackeray family,” he said.

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 discussions with the leadership during the crisis. In the third meeting, Eknath Shinde was being taken from Guwahati to Vadodara to hold discussions with Mr. Fadnavis and Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP’s chief strategist. Eknath Shinde Takes Oath!