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Eknath Shinde to take oath as 20th Maharashtra CM this evening

Eknath Shinde to take oath as 20th Maharashtra CM this evening

Mumbai, June 30 (UNI) In an unexpected move, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced the name of Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde as the 20th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, putting an end to the speculations of Devendra Fadnavis donning the CM hat for the third time.
Addressing a press conference here, Fadnavis said Shinde will take oath alone this evening at 1930 hrs.
Fadnavis said, "We all know that in the 2019 Assembly elections, there was an alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena. Through this alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 105 seats at that time. Shiv Sena won 56 seats. A total of 161 such seats and some independents, including about 170 MLAs, were elected.
"It was expected that a Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena government would be formed. At that time, the Prime Minister had also announced that a BJP leader will become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, in presence of all. But unfortunately, after the results, our then friend and ally Shiv Sena, particularly the Shiv Sena chief, took a different decision.
"He formed an alliance with the Congress and NCP, who always opposed the idea of ​​Hindutva and the independence of Savarkar. This was an insult to the mandate. People did not vote for Mahavikas Aghadi. BJP would have voted for Shiv Sena alliance.
"But that mandate was completely insulted and the Mahavikas Aghadi came into existence. Late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray would have strongly opposed this," he added.
Fadnavis said, "This is a battle of ideas and principles. This is a battle of Hindutva. Therefore, BJP will support Shinde and he will be the Chief Minister. It will be a solemn oath ceremony. We will expand later."
He announced that leaders of BJP, along with some rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, will join the Cabinet later.
"Under Shinde's leadership, Shiv Sena's legislature group, 16 independent MLAs and BJP have come together. Some more people are coming with us. We gave all these letters to the Governor. We are not hungry for power, we want a stable government in Maharashtra," Fadnavis wrote in lhe letter to the Governor.
The announcement of Shinde's name for the Chief Minister's post by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took everyone by surprise, as he (Fadnavis) was the probable candidate for the chief ministeriship.
Sources in BJP hinted that Fadnavis may be given an important portfolio in central ministry once the drama in Maharashtra comes to an end.
Shinde, who was also present during the conference, expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda for giving him this opportunity.
He said, "I will provide a strong government and will take decisions, keeping in mind the welfare of the state."
Shinde added that the dream of former Shiv Sena chief, late Balasaheb Thackeray, came true today with a Shiv Sainik becoming the Chief Minister of the state.
The Chief Minister designate said the 50 MLAs, who showed confidence in him, their trust will not go in vain. These include 39 Shiv Sena rebel MLAs and 10 independent MLAs. There is a dire need for Uddhav Thackeray to do self-introspection as to why his 50 MLAs left him altogether, he added.
The former Shiv Sena leader, who was instrumental in the fall of Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, was provided with 'Z' security, due to a wave of anger among the Uddhav Thackeray loyalists over his rebellion.
Shinde had held a meeting with his supporting MLAs, stationed in Goa, before coming to Mumbai. He also held meetings with dozens of top BJP leaders in Mumbai, including Fadnavis, Chandrakant Patil and several others, and discussed plans about forming the new government.

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