Eknath Shinde to become CM of Maharashtratext_fields
Mumbai: In a surprise move, Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis announced on Thursday that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde would be the next chief minister of the state after Uddhav Thackeray. BJP is the single majority in Maharashtra Assembly, PTI reported.
The popular expectation was for Fadnavis to return as CM with rebelled Shinde faction.
Shinde will take the oath to the office at 7:30 pm, and the cabinet expansion will happen later, Fadnavis told the media at a press conference. The conference took place after he and Shinde met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Meanwhile, Shinde stated, "I will not betray the faith Fadnavis has placed in me," at the conference.
Fadnavis further said that BJP would back the Shinde group. "I will be out of government but will ensure smooth functioning of the government, which is coming as an alternative after Uddhav Thackeray resigned," he said.
He added that the Sena rebels, BJP MLAs and certain independent MLAs would be sworn in as ministers during the cabinet expansion. The rebellion was not a battle for power but for principles and Hindutva ideology, Fadnavis said and added that BJP was against elections in the state at the present situation.
Fadnavis said that the Shiv Sena alliance with Congress and NCP was an insult to the 2019 Assembly polls mandate since Sena and BJP fought together in that elections. "Uddhav Thackeray aligned with parties (Congress and NCP) whom (Sena founder) Bal Thackeray opposed all his life," he claimed.
Further, he slammed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was corrupt, and two of its ministers were in jail for corruption and money laundering. Sena MLAs were having problems at their constituencies after MVA allies hurt their prospects, as Congress and NCP leaders there were given government funds, Fadnavis claimed.
Shinde, the MLA from Thane's Kopri-Panchpakhadi, said that he rebelled against the MVA government with the support of 50 MLAs, aiming at the development of the state and not out of personal interests. "There were limitations to the functioning of the MVA," he said.
He praised Fadnavis for giving up the opportunity to become the CM and said that Fadnavis showed a big heart in making "Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik" the next CM, PTI reports.