- Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Maharashtra's CM, Dy CM in two tweets
- Eknath Shinde changed his Twitter photo, which has Bal Thackeray, soon after taking oath as CM
- Uddhav Thackeray congratulated both Eknath and Devendra, wished them to do good job for Maharashtra
Maharashtra political crisis: The 10-day-long Maharashtra political potboiler comes to an end, with rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde taking oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis signing up as the deputy chief minister of the state.
The late-evening development, where Eknath Shinde was announced as the next CM, has not only stumped political pundits but also cornered the Uddhav faction. This is because the former CM had earlier said he was ready to quit if the Shinde faction could ensure that a "Shiv Sainik" would be the next chief minister. The process of swearing in the next Chief Minister, however, eased after Uddhav Thackeray resigned from the Chief Minister's post late on Wednesday.
Let's take you through some of the day's top developments
Shinde would take CM's post: Fadnavis
In a move that stunned political pundits and potentially checkmated the Shiv Sena, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Shinde and Fadnavis took oath as the CM and deputy of of the state at 7.30pm.
While Fadnavis had intially said that he would not be a part of the government, a request by the BJP top brass made him change his stance. Fadnavis was earlier the leader of opposition (LoP) in the Assembly.
Talking to reporters after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with Shinde at Raj Bhavan, Fadnavis said some rebel Sena MLAs, BJP legislators as well as Independents will be inducted during the cabinet expansion later. The BJP's decision not to take the top post comes as a counter to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's question if the rebel MLAs would ensure that a Shiv Sena worker would be the next chief minister.
He was ready to quit if the Shinde faction could ensure that a `Shiv Sainik' would be the next chief minister, Thackeray had said while battling the rebellion by majority of party MLAs which began more than a week ago.
PM Modi congratulates Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis
Soon after Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated both the leaders on assuming office.
In a tweet to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, PM Modi said: "I would like to congratulate Shri @mieknathshinde Ji on taking oath as Maharashtra CM. A grassroots level leader, he brings with him rich political, legislative and administrative experience. I am confident that he will work towards taking Maharashtra to greater heights.
PM Modi also penned a tweet for party leader Devendra Fadnavis. He wrote: "Congratulations to Shri @Dev_Fadnavis Ji on taking oath as Maharashtra Deputy CM. He is an inspiration for every BJP Karyakarta. His experience and expertise will be an asset for the Government. I am certain he will further strengthen Maharashtra’s growth trajectory.
Fadnavis showed a big heart: Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Devendra Fadnavis has a "big heart" and he must "thank him". The leader added that going by the number, Fadnavis should have been the CM. During a press conference, Shinde said that leaders don't even let go off a Panchayat head's post. "I will not betray the faith Fadnavis has placed in me," Shinde told the media.
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. Earlier, Fadnavis had said that he will be out of government but will ensure smooth functioning of the government. Later, however, he was inducted as the deputy chief minister after party top brass requested him to take the post.
Eknath Shinde changes Twitter profile photo
Soon after taking oath as Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde changed his Twitter profile picture, in which he is seen with Shiv Sena founder, late Bal Thackeray. The Sena leader rebelled against the Uddhav-led MVA government on the pretext of Hindutva, accusing Thackeray that the party under him deviated from its Hindutva ideology, the path shown by Bal Thackeray.
In a symbolic gesture, Eknath Shinde, as he became the chief minister, changed his Twitter profile photo, showing him with Bal Thackeray.
'Therein begins decline...': Raj Thackeray tweets
A day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, in a tweet, said: "therein begins the journey towards one's decline."
The MNS leader took to Twitter on Thursday, and wrote: "When anyone misunderstands one's good fortune as one's personal accomplishment;therein begins the journey towards one's decline."
Uddhav Thackeray had announced his resignation from the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister soon after the Supreme Court refused to stay tomorrow's floor test in the assembly. Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation in a Facebook LIVE address. "I am resigning as the Chief Minister," Uddhav Thackeray said. He also announced his resignation from the MLC post too.
Devendra Fadnavis agrees to be Maharashtra Deputy CM after Nadda's request
After a surprise announcement that not BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, but Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra, BJP president J P Nadda said that the central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should become a part of the government. Just minutes after his appeal, the party president said in a tweet that Fadnavis will be a part of the state cabinet. The question whether or not Fadnavis will be the Deputy CM is still a mystery.
Nadda was speaking an hour after the CM announcement was made by Fadnavis after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with Shinde at Raj Bhavan.
'Sanjay Raut more loyal to NCP': Eknath Shinde's aide
Shiv Sena rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar, who is also the spokesperson of the Eknath Shinde camp, on Thursday lashed out at party colleague Sanjay Raut over a tweet carrying an illustration showing how the own party leaders backstabbed Uddhav Thackeray. Notably, the Sena rebels have blamed Raut for his visceral statements for widening the gap between them and the party leadership.
Kesarkar, currently in Panaji, told reporters that removing party supremo Uddhav Thackeray from the Chief Minister's chair was never their intention, adding that they will talk to him if he walks out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
The MVA came into existence after Shiv Sena snapped over two decades old ties with the BJP and sided with NCP and Congress soon after the declaration of the Assembly election results in November 2019. The BJP-Sena alliance had secured a comfortable majority in the 288-member House but Sena walked out of the alliance and formed the government with the support of NCP and Congress to keep the BJP at bay.
(With inputs from agencies)