- Eknath Shinde will be next Chief Minister of Maharashtra, not Devendra Fadnavis
- Shinde, the rebel Shiv Sena leader, will be sworn in at 7 pm
- The dramatic announcement came after Fadnavis and Shinde met Governor B S Koshyari at Raj Bhavan
Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra, not Devendra Fadnavis, announced the BJP leader on Thursday. Shinde, the rebel Shiv Sena leader, will be sworn in at 7 pm. The dramatic announcement came after Fadnavis and Shinde met Governor B S Koshyari at Raj Bhavan.
It was considered a foregone conclusion that Fadnavis will become the CM for the third time, in alliance with the Shinde-led Sena rebels. Fadnavis said, "After the swearing-in ceremony today, we will have a cabinet expansion and Shiv Sena and BJP leaders will take the oath."
Shinde and other rebel MLAs, who arrived in Goa on Wednesday night from Guwahati, stayed at a resort at Dona Paula. Earlier, soon after his social media address to the people, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari late on Wednesday.
'Will stay out of the government': Fadnavis
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, while making the surprise announcement, said that he will stay out of the government. "Shiv Sena MLAs were demanding that the alliance with Congress and NCP should be ended but Uddhav Thackeray ignored these MLAs and gave priority to MVA alliance partners, that's why these MLAs intensified their voices," the BJP leader said.
Attacking the Shiv Sena, he said that the party formed an alliance with those who are against Hindutva & Savarkar. "Shiv Sena insulted the mandate of the people."
"On one hand, Shiv Sena opposed Dawood (Ibrahim) and on the other hand, they kept such a man in the cabinet who went to jail on allegations of helping Dawood. They were in alliance with someone who insulted Savarkar"
Eknath Shinde, who will soon be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said, "The decision that we have taken is committed to Balasaheb's Hindutva & for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs. We have 50 MLAs with us."
Fadnavis could have become CM going by the numbers but he showed a big heart and I thank him, said the CM-designate.
"We went to former CM Thackeray with our constituency's grievances & development work along with advising him on need for improvement as we started realizing that it would be difficult for us to win the next elections. We demanded for a natural alliance with BJP."
"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 & other BJP leaders that they showed generosity & made Balasaheb's Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state."