In a massive twist in the ongoing political drama Maharashtra, BJP has decided that it will not lead the new government in the state. Making a surprise announcement at a press conference, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis declareed Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Fadnavis has declared support of the Bhartiya Janta Party MLAs to rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde’s faction to form the government.
During the Press Conference where Eknath Shinde was also present, the BJP leader announced that Eknath Shinde will be swearing-in as the Chief Minister of Maharshtra at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai today evening. The function will be an in-house ceremony to be led by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. On Thursday, Eknath Shinde will be the only minister who will be taking the oath, announced Fadnavis.
The former Maharashtra CM further announced that he will not be part of the government. The Eknath Shinde cabinet will be expanded later after the constituent parties select their MLAs to become ministers in the new government, and after that they will take oath in a swearing in ceremony to be held later.
“This is the battle of ideas, this is the battle of Hindutva. And hence we decided to whole-heartedly support Eknath Shinde who parted ways with the MVA government,” Fadnavis said. He further added that once the swearing ceremony is done today, the Shinde group, alongside the BJP and other independents will negotiate the further expansion and distribution of ministerial portfolios.
Eknath Shinde had a long discussion with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Thursday. His entourage of Rebel MLAs are stationed in Goa after returning from Guwahati on Wednesday. As per the numbers, The BJP has 106 MLAs and additionally with the Shinde faction which has 40 Shiv Sena MLAs plus 10 independents, the total figure becomes 156. The required half-way number to form a stake for the government in Maharashtra Assembly is 144.
Thanking BJP for offering the CM’s post to him, Eknath Shinde said, “BJP has over 100 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 the CM of the state”.