- Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Maharashtra
- In a surprise move, Fadnavis announced in the evening that Shinde will be the new chief minister
- Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to Shinde and his deputy Fadnavis
Maharashtra Politics: Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Thursday took oath as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The development came as the biggest surprise element out of this political crisis when everyone was hoping that Devendra Fadnavis will be sworn in as CM.
Addressing a press conference after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staking claim to form government, Devendra Fadnavis along with Eknath Shinde addressed media where he revealed the biggest surprise saying Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Eknath Shinde-faction MLAs, staying at a hotel in Goa, celebrated after Shinde's was announced as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Speaking at a presser earlier, Shinde said, "A total of 50 MLAs are with us, including 40 MLAs from Shiv Sena...We have fought this battle so far with their help...I will not let even a scratch mar the trust that these 50 people have placed in me - let alone break that trust."
"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," CM-designate Shinde said.
Shinde thanked Fadnavis saying, "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 and made Balasaheb's Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state."
The 2.5 year (approx 31 months) tenure of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed after over 40 MLAs mostly of Shiv Sena and independents rebelled against the coalition government.
The political drama which went on for weeks began after MLC election results were declared on June 21. On the night of the results, Eknath Shinde along with over 15 MLAs left for Surat where they camped for a few days.
As the crisis further unfolded, more MLAs of Shiv Sena rebelled against the top leader leadership and MVA govt, and joined Shinde's camp.
After a few days, Eknath Shinde along with rebels left for Guwahati. As crisis deepened further and Uddhav Thackeray started to lose grip at his government, more Sena MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati.
When rebels felt that there strength was enough to topple the government, the Shinde faction wrote to governor that they were the real Shiv Sena and that Uddhav's government was in the minority.
A few days later, BJP became active and Devendra Fadnavis met Governor demanding a floor test reiterating that the MVA government didn't have the numbers.
The next day, June 29, Maharashtra Governor asked Uddhav Thackeray to prove majority and ordered a floor test on Thursday. However, the MVA government approached Supreme Court but lost the case against the floor test.
Soon after Supreme Court refused to stay the floor test, Uddhav Thackeray resigned from the post of CM saying he was not interested in the numbers game.
Earlier in the day, Eknath Shinde, who arrived in Mumbai from Goa, met Fadnavis at the latter's official residence in south Mumbai to discuss formation of the next government in Maharashtra following the collapse of the MVA dispensation a day ago.
Shinde and Fadnavis held a brief meeting at the latter's residence before both of them headed to the Raj Bhavan along with several BJP leaders.
The Mumbai police had made heavy security arrangements in view of Shinde's arrival in the city.
"Shinde, who landed at Mumbai airport by chartered flight this afternoon, was escorted by the senior police officials from the airport to South Mumbai.
Traffic on the route was stopped to facilitate the passage Shinde's convoy," officials said.
Shinde was seen waving to supporters throughout the route.
Some Shiv Sena workers, who tried to hold a protest outside 'Sagar', were detained, the officials added.