Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister late Thursday evening. BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis becomes deputy Chief Minister after initially refusing to be a part of the cabinet.
Earlier the dark cloud hanging over Uddhav Thackeray led Maha Vikas Aghadi following a large-scale rebellion with 40 odd MLA’s giving support to estranged Shiv Sena leaders forced Thackeray to submit his resignation to the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Wednesday.
This has opened the way for a new government consisting of BJP and the rebel faction of Shiv Sena. It was expected that Devendra Fadnavis would take over as CM and Shinde would be made deputy CM.
To everyone’s surprise Devendra Fadnavis announced on Thursday evening that Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister adding, “I wouldn’t be part of the government.”
Sensing that keeping Fadnavis out may trigger discontentment in party rank and file, BJP central leadership quickly sprung into action and prevailed over Fadnavis to become deputy CM.
According to media reports, even Fadnavis was not aware of the surprising move of the BJP leadership. Political observers opined that the decision was taken considering Marathi vote banks as they were in forefront in opposition to the BJP government led by Fadnavis. Shinde is Maratha leader while Fadnavis is a Brahmin.
Some observers are of the view that central leadership was wary of the growing stature of Fadnavis. Thus, by inducting Fadnavis in the cabinet they kill multiple birds with one stone.