After staking claim to form government in Maharashtra, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, addressing a press conference, announced Eknath Shinde as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
“I will stay out of the government and ensure it runs smoothly,” Fadnavis said, announcing that Shinde will be sworn in at 7:30 pm. No other minister will take oath today, the BJP leader said.
Eknath Shinde thanked PM Modi, 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.
Uddhav Thackeray quit as Maharashtra Chief Minister yesterday, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that he must prove his majority.
Fadnavis said the BJP will extend its support to the Shinde camp, which has 39 lawmakers as well as the backing of 16 Independents and others. “The Shinde-led government will resolve issues which have been stalled for last two and a half years effectively.”
Shinde, who led the rebels, was expected to be sworn in as the deputy chief minister and Fadnavis as the chief minister after losing power in 2019 when the Shiv Sena walked out of a pre-poll alliance with the BJP and formed a government in alliance with Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Shinde on Wednesday reiterated that they are not rebels and remain Shiv Sainiks while pledging to carry forward Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s agenda and Hindutva ideology.