Hours after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis sprang a surprise with the announcement that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will be the new Maharashtra chief minister of Maharashtra and he would stay from the Cabinet, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and national BJP chief JP Nadda declared Fadnavis will be the deputy chief minister.
Following a “request” to this effect by JP Nadda to Fadnavis, Amit Shah took to Twitter and announced that Fadnavis will become the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.
Earlier in a joint press conference, Fadnavis said the BJP would support Shinde as the Chief Minister, but he would stay out of the cabinet to ensure the smooth functioning of the alliance and the government.
Shinde and Fadnavis took the oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively — the latter following a directive from BJP central leadership — took oath at 7.30 pm on Thursday, while the rest of the Cabinet would be decided later, Fadnavis announced at the press conference.
Earlier in the day, the former Maharashtra CM of BJP stated, “The BJP has decided that it will support Eknath Shinde as the chief minister of the state. Eknath Shinde will alone take oath at 7.30 pm today. After the ceremony, further decisions on the expansion of the cabinet will be taken. The cabinet will comprise the Shiv Sena, the allies, the independents, and the BJP. I will not be a part of the cabinet, but I will take responsibility for the smooth functioning of the alliance and the government. I will provide full support and co-operation to the government.”
Subsequently, JP Nadda issued a statement saying, “Former CM and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis declared Eknath Shinde as the new chief minister. He also showed a big heart and said that he will stay out of the cabinet and support the government from the outside. It shows the character of our party and the leaders and proves that we do not work for any post.”
“However, the BJP’s central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should be a part of the government. A request has been made to Fadnavis about the same in a personal capacity. The central leadership has conveyed to him that he should take charge as the deputy chief minister and fulfil the wishes of the people of Maharashtra,” Nadda added.