Maharashtra Political Tussle Climaxes With Two Surprises

Maharashtra Political Tussle Climaxes With Two Surprises

The over-a-week-long Maharashtra political crisis didn’t have any dull moments and has now ended with two back-to-back surprises: one, Eknath Shinde, and not Devendra Fadnavis, is the chief minister and second, Fadnavis agreeing to be his deputy even after announcing that he would stay out of power.

Fadnavis announced at a press conference earlier today that Shinde would be the chief minister, busting speculations of his return to the top post. He sprang another surprise when he said he won’t join the government but would extend full support to Shinde.

However, in a sudden turn of events, BJP national president JP Nadda said the leadership wanted Fadnavis to take the post of deputy CM and Fadnavis, without any contention, agreed.

“As an authentic worker, I follow the orders of the party. The order of the party that brought me to the highest position is paramount to me,” read a loose translation of his tweet in Hindi.

The tweet came after Fadnavis took the oath as Maharashtra’s deputy CM at Raj Bhavan. On the other hand, Shinde took the oath by paying tributes to late Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe. His supporters shouted slogans hailing Thackeray and Dighe as he finished taking the oath.

Fadnavis was Uddhav’s predecessor who headed the BJP government twice in the past, with his second stint just lasting for three days.

Earlier in the day, Shinde, the MLA from Kopri-Panchpakhadi in Thane city, lauded Fadnavis’s “large-heartedness” and expressed gratitude towards him for announcing him as the CM. “Fadnavis has stood behind us and supported us. Large-heartedness of Fadnavis to make me CM and it’s my job to stand against injustice.”

“BJP has 120 MLAs but despite that Devendra Fadnavis didn’t take the post of CM. I express my gratitude to him along with PM Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP leaders that they showed generosity and made Balasaheb’s Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state,” Shinde added.

The Sena strongman also said he took the decision to rebel against the MVA government with the support of 50 MLAs for the development of the state and “there was no personal interest involved.” “There were limitations to the functioning of the MVA,” he said.

Shinde landed in Mumbai from Goa on Thursday. He has been provided with a ‘Z’ category security by the Centre. The rebel MLAs, however, are still in Goa, where they went on Wednesday after Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation.

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