Mumbai: Devendra Fadnavis will be Maharashtra's new chief minister following his election as the leader of the BJP legislature party here Tuesday.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and party leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy, O.P. Mathur and J.P. Nadda were at the meeting where the newly elected 121 BJP legislators chose Fadnavis at the Maharashtra Legislature complex.
Hailing from Nagpur, Fadnavis, 44, pipped his mentor and central minister Nitin Gadkari to bag the coveted post. Publicly, however, Gadkari kept saying that he was not interested in becoming the chief minister.
The Deshastha Brahmin’s RSS pedigree may have worked in his favour when it came to his party’s choice as the BJP’s first Chief Minister for Maharashtra. His father Gangadharrao Gadgil was a senior Jan Sangh leader and later a BJP MLC. His aunt Shobhatai Fadnavis was a Cabinet Minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government. Mr. Fadnavis himself cut his political teeth in the BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidharthi Parishad (ABVP).
The Bharatiya Janata Party is the single largest party in the 288-member house with 122 seats, short of the half way mark needed for a legislative majority.
BJP legislator G.M. Rathod died of heart attack Monday, reducing its strength to 121.
The BJP has the support of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha's sole legislator and the Shiv Sena as well as the unconditional backing of the Nationalist Congress Party.
Governor C.V. Rao will administer the oath of office to Fadnavis and his ministers Oct 31 at the Wankhede Stadium here.
The event will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and around 30,000 guests.