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Devendra Fadnavis: Not The First Chief Minister To be ‘Demoted”

| Updated: July 1, 2022 12:20

‘I take the oath of God as the Chief Minister of ………. I solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India established by law, I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India’…. Every politician worth his salt always dreams of the golden opportunity to utter these words in his or her life. For BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, this could have been a third-time instance. Two chairs placed initially in the Raj Bhavan were indications enough for the journos to lap up and declare him the incoming Peshwa of Maharashtra.

Fadanvis’ gestures were also telling the same tale. But as the quirk of fate would have it, and as the adage goes – ‘there is many a slip between cup and lip “, the ruthless realpolitik mandated in such a way that the CM’s chair went away from him at the last moment.

Fadnavis, who is often mocked by his adversaries as someone eternally longing to come back as Chief Minister had to eat humble pie after denying to join the cabinet by accepting to be a deputy to rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde.

Fadnavis, however, is not the first name in Maharashtra to be ‘demoted’ in the next term after becoming the CM. There exists a long list. In the cruel game of politics, especially with it’s peculiar Indian sauce, predictions are impossible to make. A king and a pawn can interchange their posititions before you can spell the word chess.

Before Devendra Fadnavis, Narayan Rane, Ashok Chavan, Shivaji Rao Nilangekar were the former Chief Minsisters who accepted working as a minister in the cabinet headed by another leader.

In Gujarat, the renowened Gandhian Babubhai Jashbai Patel accepted the speacially created Narmada Development Ministry in the Chimanbhai Patel Cabinet in the 1990s. Babubhai Jashbhai Patel had been Chief Minister of Gujarat twice earlier. He was the Chif Minister of Gujarat from 18-06-1975 to 12-06-1976 and then from11-4-1977 to 17-02-1980 when the Janata Paty swept the elections natinalwide and removed Congress from power in the aftermath of emergency. Babubhai was in his 80s when he accepted being a minister in Chimanbhai patel cabinet.

Devendra Fadnavis is known as the tallest leader of BJP in Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014 to 2019. In the assembly elections held in Maharashtra in 2019, BJP was successful in winning the maximum number of seats under the leadership of Fadnavis.

He took the oath of Chief Minister along with NCP’s Ajit Pawar. However, the oath taken in early morning could not reach the Vidhansabha as Ajit Pawar was conviced back to the NCP stalwart Sharad Pawar. Ultimately NCP and Shiv Sena formed the government with the help of Congress and NCP.

This time around, when the rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena and BJP formed the government, Fadnavis was being seen as future CM. However, his stature was reduced by party high command and he had to content himself being the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Congress leader Ashok Chavan was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2008 to 2010. After him, Prithviraj Chavan became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. In fact, after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Vilasrao Deshmukh government had resigned. After this, Ashok Chavan took oath as the Chief Minister. After this, in 2019, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena was formed in Maharashtra under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, Ashok Chavan was made a cabinet minister.

Narayan Rane, who hopped from Shiv Sena to Congress, and now to BJP, was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1 February 1999 to 17 October 1999. He resigned from the post. After differences with Uddhav Thackeray in 2005, he left Shiv Sena and joined Congress on 3 July 2005 and became Revenue Minister in Congress. Later, he became the Industries Minister of Maharashtra in 2009. In 2014, after the defeat of his son Nilesh in the Lok Sabha elections, he resigned from his ministerial post. At present, Rane is a Union Minister in the Narendra Modi government.

Shivaji Patil Nilangekar was a resident of Latur in the Marathwada region. He was the Chief Minister of the state in 1985-86. He was accused of tampering with the results to help his daughter and her friend in the MD exam. Following these allegations, he resigned from the post of CM. Shivaji Rao Nilangekar became a minister in the Deshmukh government. He was known as a powerful cooperative leader of Latur. His grandson Sambhaji Patil is a BJP MLA. Sambhaji was the state’s labor minister in the government of Devendra Fadnavis.

Kailash Joshi was one of the prominent leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh. He was a founding member of the Jana Sangh. Born on July 14, 1929, Kailash Joshi was also a founding member of the party during the establishment of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1952. Joshi was the Leader of the Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1972 to 1977 and on 26 June 1977, he was made the CM of the non-Congress government of the state. But later he accepted being a cabinet minister in the Uma Bharati government.

After the 2003 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Uma became the Chief Minister and everything was going well for a year. Then suddenly one day a 10-year-old case created such a situation that Uma Bharti had to leave the chair and the state got a new Chief Minister in the form of Babulal Gaur. At the age of 74, Babulal Gaur became the CM of Madhya Pradesh. He was the CM of the state from August 2004 to 29 November 2005. After the assembly elections held in 2013, BJP again came to power and he was made a minister in the Shivraj government.

These are just to name a few, there are many more such examples in the politics of India which have become a witness to this ups and downs of politics.

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