- Devendra Fadnavis surprised everyone when he announced that Eknath Shinde will be next CM
- Fadnavis also said that he won't be part of the government, but BJP MLAs will be ministers
- Together with Shinde's camp, the strength of the new govt with BJP will be around 170
Maharashtra Crisis: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday surprised everyone when he announced that Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra and that he will not be part of the government.
The BJP will extend support to Shinde's group, said Fadnavis, a former chief minister and currently leader of opposition in the Assembly. BJP is the single largest party in the legislature.
"I will be out of government but will ensure smooth functioning of the government which is coming as an alternative after Uddhav Thackeray resigned," Fadnavis said.
Sena (rebels) as well as BJP MLAs and some independents will be sworn in as ministers during the expansion, he added.
This was not a battle for power but for principles and Hindutva ideology, he said, adding that the BJP was against imposing elections on the state at this juncture.
There was unrest in the Shiv Sena ranks as alliance with Congress and NCP was insult of the mandate of the 2019 Assembly polls when Sena and BJP had fought the polls together, he said.
"Uddhav Thackeray aligned with parties (Congress and NCP) whom (Sena founder) Bal Thackeray opposed all his life," Fadnavis claimed.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance was "corrupt" and two ministers of that government are in jail for corruption and money laundering charges, the BJP leader said.
Shiv Sena MLAs were facing problems in their constituencies as the MVA allies were hurting their prospects, Fadnavis said.
Congress and NCP leaders in the constituencies of Shiv Sena leaders were being given government funds, he claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)