Eknath Shinde Takes Oath as Maha CM, Fadnavis as Deputy CM at BJP Brass's 'Request'

While earlier reports had it that Fadnavis would be the next CM, the BJP leader had said it will be the Shiv Sena rebel who will take oath in the position.

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New Delhi: Eknath Shinde took oath as the Maharashtra chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy on Thursday, June 30.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to them at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai shortly after 7.30 pm.

Shinde began by paying tributes to late Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe. His supporters shouted slogans hailing Thackeray and Dighe as he finished taking the oath.

Fadnavis, who had largely been pegged to take oath as Maharashtra chief minister, had said that it would not be him but Eknath Shinde who will take oath as the state’s chief minister. Bharatiya Janata Party’s national leadership has, meanwhile, asked Fadnavis to be deputy chief minister – which the latter has ostensibly agreed to be.

Just as drama over Fadnavis announcing Shinde as chief minister subsided, BJP chief J.P. Nadda said in an address that he would like to personally request Fadnavis to take the mantle of the deputy chief minister.

That Fadnavis had acquiesced to this request was signified by a tweet – released within minutes of Nadda’s address – by Union home minister Amit Shah, announcing Fadnavis’s decision to participate actively in the government.

He praised Fadnavis for his “large heartedness” and said that on Nadda’s insistence, Fadnavis will be a part of the government. Earlier in the evening Fadnavis had claimed that BJP would only be supporting the party from outside.

Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde’s rebellion propelled the fall of the Mahavikas Aghadi coalition government.

Fadnavis announced in a joint press conference with Shinde that the latter will take oath at 7.30 pm today.

“Fadnavis could have become CM, going by the numbers, but he showed a big heart and I thank him,” Shinde said at the joint press conference.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is therefore likely to support the rebel Sena faction which will form the government. The BJP had earlier said that it has the support of a total of 170 MLAs, including those from Shinde’s rebel faction.

Shinde, who arrived in Mumbai from Goa on Thursday afternoon, met Fadnavis at the latter’s official residence in south Mumbai to discuss formation of the next government in Maharashtra. Both of them headed to the Raj Bhavan along with several BJP leaders then.

Shinde and Fadnavis have submitted letters of supporting MLAs to Governor B.S. Koshyari to stake claim for government formation.

A day ago, Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation from his position as chief minister of Maharashtra within minutes of the Supreme Court refusing to stay the governor’s orders for a floor test, had cleared the way for the Fadnavis-Shinde duo to stake claim.

The Mumbai police made heavy security arrangements, emptying roads so that Shinde’s cavalcade faced no hindrance while going to ‘Sagar’, Fadnavis’s official bungalow at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai.

Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Vishwas Nangre Patil led the cavalcade himself, reported PTI.

Note: This article is being updated as developments take place.