India's financial heartland Maharashtra has been witnessing incessant political twists ever since Eknath Shinde, who was an important minister in the ruling coalition, staged his political drama against Chief Minister Uddav Thackeray's regime that ended with the climax of couping his Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) government. Throughout the episodes of his drama, Shinde was able to bait up over 40 MLAs from Thackeray's party, which paved the way for the opposition BJP to recoup the reign in the state.
Thackeray was scheduled to face the floor test on Thursday- June 30. However, a day ahead of the floor test, he had resigned from the post of Chief Minister on Wednesday and tendered his resignation to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Following his resignation, the BJP was making a move to stake a claim to form a new government. Though BJP is the biggest party in the current assembly, it didn't have a majority mark and after ousting Thackeray, BJP would be forming the new government with the support of the MLAs from the Shinde camp.
The political crisis in Maharashtra has been boiling since the revolt and the nation's spotlight was completely on the state on who would be the next Chief Minister. It has been strongly predicted that BJP leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be the next Chief Minister, while Shinde could be made the Deputy Chief Minister. Amid the downpour in Mumbai on Wednesday, the state was heated up with the political friction and the BJP was making arrangements to form the government.
In the morning hours of Thursday, it was reported that Fadnavis would be taking oath as the Chief Minister at 7 pm. However, ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, Maharashtra has witnessed a mega political twist as Thackeray's dissenter Eknath Shinde would be taking oath as the next Chief Minister. The surprise development has drawn huge attention and with the backing from the BJP MLAs, Shinde is all set to become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for the first time.
According to ANI, Shinde will take the oath as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the oath-taking ceremony at 7.30 pm on Thursday- June 30 at Raj Bhavan, the Governor's mansion. Interestingly, Shinde's pick as the Chief Minister was announced by Fadnavis in a joint press conference. In the front of how Shinde has won the race, the reports say that when Fadnavis was asked to take over the baton as the next Chief Minister, he had refused to accept the offer and affirmed that he will stay out of the government.
Addressing the press conference, Fadnavis said, "After the swearing-in ceremony today, we will have a cabinet expansion and Shiv Sena and BJP leaders will take the oath. I will stay out of the government." Earlier on Thursday, Shinde and Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked a claim to form the government. Addressing the reporters, Shinde said that they have the support of 50 MLAs.
Shinde said, "The decision that we have taken is committed to Balasaheb's Hindutva and for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs. We have 50 MLAs with us." He further said that the new Maharashtra government will have the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP National President JP Nadda. Shinde had thanked Fadnavis for backing him for the Chief Minister. Shinde said, "Fadnavis could have become the CM going by the numbers but he showed a big heart and I thank him."
During the press conference, Fadnavis said, "The Shinde-led government will resolve many issues which have been stalled for last two and a half years effectively. Reservation to Marathas, OBCs and the completion of the infrastructure projects will be the priorities of the new government. Shiv Sena went with the people whom Balasaheb Thackeray opposed all his life. The Thackeray government was corruption-ridden and it led to two ministers going to jail under corruption charges."