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Making me CM is masterstroke of Fadnavis: Eknath Shinde

Rebel Shiv Sena Leader and newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan on Thursday

Rebel Shiv Sena Leader and newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan on Thursday | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Friday said not only his colleagues in the Assembly but also Maharashtra is happy that "Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik has become the chief minister".

He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah among others for reposing confidence in him.

“People thought that the BJP was desperate for power. But truly, this is a masterstroke by Devendra ji. To hand over power to another person despite having larger numbers (of MLAs) requires a big heart.

“With his decision, people of the state and the country got to see a new example of this large heartedness,” Mr. Shinde said after he and Mr. Fadnavis were sworn in as CM and Deputy CM respectively at Raj Bhavan Thursday evening.

“Fadnavis joined this ministry due to the directives of his (party) seniors. I am happy for this because his experience will come in handy in speeding up developmental works in the state,” Mr. Shinde said.

Backed by the BJP, Mr. Shinde on Thursday took oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra with the support of a breakaway faction of Shiv Sena MLAs and Independents.

After taking the oath in Mumbai, Mr. Shinde returned to Goa at midnight to meet his colleagues who had supported him in rebelling against Uddhav Thackeray.

Interacting with reporters at the Goa Airport, he said Maharashtra could see this day because of his 50 MLAs.

"My colleagues and entire Maharashtra are happy that Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik has become the chief minister of the State," Mr. Shinde commented.

The chief minister said his government will do the works that are expected from them by the people of Maharashtra.

Mr. Shinde said his government will work to deliver justice to every section of society. "We will also take ahead the vision of Balasaheb Thackeray." Asked about cabinet expansion, he said the future strategy would be discussed in the meeting with his colleagues.

Later, while interacting with reporters at the resort in Goa's Dona Paula, the newly sworn-in Maharashtra chief minister thanked Mr. Modi, Mr. Shah and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for reposing faith in him.

"Mr. Fadnavis has shown a big heart by giving me the opportunity to become chief minister," Mr. Shinde said.

Mr. Shinde said he will ensure ample developmental work in the constituencies of all the 50 MLAs who supported him. The Shiv Sena leader also said he is well aware of the experience of these legislators during the last two-and-a-half years.

He said that the floor test in the Assembly is a "mere formality" as he claimed to enjoy the support of 175 MLAs.

Asked when will he go to Matoshree — the residence of the Thackeray family — Mr. Shinde replied, "You will get to know about it at the right time." Mr. Shinde, along with supporting MLAs, arrived in Goa on Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, he left for Mumbai.

In a series of political developments that unfolded in Mumbai, Mr. Shinde was sworn in as chief minister of Maharashtra while BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as his deputy.

His swearing-in was celebrated by the Shiv Sena MLAs who continued to remain at the resort at Dona Paula in Goa. After landing at Dabolim Airport, Mr. Shinde went to the resort, 30 km away, where the MLAs were waiting to welcome him.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 10:16:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fadnavis-has-shown-a-big-heart-by-offering-me-cm-post-shinde/article65588410.ece