Twist In The Tale: Eknath Shinde Will Be New Maharashtra CM, Announces Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: In a massive twist to the Maharashtra political drama, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis announced on Thursday that Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde will be the next chief minister of Maharashtra.

Former CM Fadnavis was widely tipped to step into the hot seat after Uddhav Thackeray refused to take a floor test and resigned on Wednesday night. But as it emerged, BJP decided to support the new government under Shinde in every way possible.

“I won’t be part of the government,” Fadnavis said at a press conference after meeting Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at the Raj Bhavan.

Only Shinde will be sworn in by the Governor at 7.30 pm tonight. The Cabinet will be expanded later.

Shinde led a revolt of 40 MLAs who broke ranks with Uddhav-led Sena, plunging the coalition MVA government into crisis.

The impasse continued for a week, with Shinde and his fellow-MLAs first going to Surat and then camping in Guwahati.

Uddhav issued emotional appeals to the rebels, urging them to meet him in person and express their point of view.

Despite the numbers being against him, Uddhav hung on with support from NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and the Congress.

Shiv Sena even moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Governor’s order for a floor test in he Assembly on June 30. But with the apex court refusing to stay the floor test following an extended four-hour hearing on Wednesday evening, Uddhav quickly announced his resignation.

“We will support this government fully.. will do everything to make this government successful with development work after a 2-and-a-half year break when everything had stopped,” said Fadnavis.

“Reservation to Marathas, OBCs and completion of the infrastructure projects will be the priorities of the new government,” Fadnavis added.

Shinde thanked Fadnavis and the BJP for not staking claim to form the government despite being the single-largest party with 106 legislators.

The BJP claimed it has the support of 170 MLAs in all, including the Shinde-led rebels, which is way more than the halfway mark in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.

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