Maharashtra political turmoil updates | June 30, 2022

Eknath Shinde takes oath as Chief Minister; Fadnavis sworn in as Deputy CM

June 30, 2022 09:45 am | Updated 10:49 pm IST

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde during his swearing-in ceremony as Maharashtra Chief Minister, on June 30, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde during his swearing-in ceremony as Maharashtra Chief Minister, on June 30, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

In what could be termed one of the biggest political surprises in the history of Maharashtra politics, the BJP on Thursday announced that it will support rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as the new Chief Minister, who took oath in a simple ceremony in the Raj Bhavan on Thursday evening, officiated by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who all believed was set to become Chief Minister for the third time, joined him as Deputy Chief Minister.

Amid shocking developments throughout the day, at a press conference prior to the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Fadnavis  announced that the BJP would support Mr. Shinde as Chief Minister and claimed that he would not be the part of the Cabinet. Hours after his announcement, sensing discontent within the State unit of the party, BJP national president J.P. Nadda said the party had taken a decision to support Mr. Shinde, and Mr. Fadnavis too would join the government. Union Home Minister Amit Shah too tweeted saying that Mr. Fadnavis would join the government.  Mr. Fadnavis replied to him saying he would follow the orders as an honest party worker. “I will obey the order of a party which gave me the top most post,” he tweeted.

The making and breaking of Maha Vikas Aghadi: Timeline

Earlier on Wednesday, Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation from the post of Chief Minister, moments after the Supreme Court refused to stay the Governor’s direction to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.

Analysis | The return of Devendra Fadnavis 

Talking Politics with Nistula Hebbar | What led to the political crisis in Maharashtra?

The rebellion by Mr. Shinde is most significant in the outfit’s 56-year-old history as it threatens to bring down the party-led government in Maharashtra, while the other revolts took place when it was not in power in the State.

Here are the latest updates

7:58 p.m.

PM Modi congratulates Shinde, Fadnavis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the new Maharashtra CM and Deputy CM in two separate tweets. Calling Mr. Shinde a ‘grassroot leader’, he said that he will bring political, legislative, and administrative experience.

While congratulating Mr. Fadnavis, Mr. Modi tweeted that the Deputy CM, with his experience and expertise, will aid in the growth trajectory of Maharashtra.

7:35 p.m.

Eknath Shinde takes oath as Chief Minister; Fadnavis sworn in as Deputy CM

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister, while BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy chief minister.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to them at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai shortly after 7.30 pm.

Mr. Shinde began by paying tributes to late Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe. His supporters shouted slogans hailing Thackeray and Dighe as he finished taking the oath. -PTI

7.00 p.m.

Fadnavis decides to join Cabinet, says Nadda

BJP president Nadda said “Devendra Fadnavis has shown big heart and decided to join new Maharashtra cabinet.” Mr. Nadda further stated that “It has been proved that BJP never had desire for CM’s post, Uddhav Thackeray left us for greed of this post.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated Mr. Fadnavis on his decision to join the Maharashtra Cabinet on Twitter.

6.40 pm

BJP wants Fadnavis to be Deputy CM, says Nadda

BJP president J.P. Nadda says the BJP wants former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to be the Deputy Chief Minister. Mr. Nadda said Devendra Fadnavis has shown big heart and decided to join new Maharashtra cabinet.

4.53 pm

Was happy as Minister but was seeing what was happening in party: Eknath Shinde

Addressing a press conference with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said he was happy as a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government but was noticing what was happening around.

“I will take the thought of hindutva forward. When 50 MLAs take a different stand, it should have been noted seriously. I was happy as minister but was seeing what is wrong happening around. That’s why I decided to take this decision,” Mr. Shinde said.

“BJP has more than 106 MLAs and independents but still they give me, a Sena worker, the opportunity. I thank Modiji, Shahji and Fadnavis ji for this,” he said. “Mr. Fadnavis is such a large hearted person. He won’t be in cabinet but still he has given up on everything.”

“These 50 MLAs (rebel Sena MLAs and independents) have shown great trust in me. I will ensure that their trust is not violated. We are 50 and here are 120. It’s a great strength and i am sure many more will come. The Centre and State will walk together and will take the State on the path of development” said Mr. Shinde.

4.38 pm

Fadnavis won’t hold any portfolio

A govt of Hindutva, pro-development, and with a new vision will work, Mr. Fadnavis told the media after meeting the Governor.

Clarifying that the BJP will be part of the Cabinet, Mr. Fadnavis said he will not hold any ministerial position.

“Maha Vikas Aghadi was the corrupt alliance which compromised on the popular mandate. Sena MLAs questioned it but Uddhav Thackeray decided to hear the Congress and the NCP. We have been saying that when this government falls we will give alternate government and won’t impose (mid-term) polls,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

“Mr. Shinde has made claim as CM. We (BJP) have supported it. We and independents along with Sena MLAs supported him. Only Mr. Shinde will be sworn in at 7.30 p.m. today. After that the Shinde group and our people will be sworn in in cabinet expansion,” he added. - Alok Deshpande

4.36 pm

Eknath Shinde to take oath as Maharashtra CM

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde is all set to take oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra.

Mr. Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari earlier in the day. The swearing in ceremony will be held at the Governor's House at 7.30 pm. - Alok Deshpande

3.21 pm

Fadnavis, Shinde likely to take oath today evening

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde are expected to reach Raj Bhavan by around 3.30 p.m. to stake claim to form new government in Maharashtra.

Both are likely to take oath today evening. - Alok Deshpande

2:07 pm

No hindrance from our side to rebels if they tie up with BJP; Sena to play constructive opposition in new govt: Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the rebels have chosen their way and there would be no hindrance from the party in the path of the dissidents to associate with the BJP, and the Sena will play the role of constructive opposition to the new government.

Talking to reporters a day after Sena president Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the State chief minister following a rebellion that rocked his government, Mr. Raut also said the dissident leaders will “regret” their decision to part ways with the Shiv Sena. -PTI

1:29 pm

If Thackeray had addressed the grievances of us, none of this would have happened: Shinde

“We had great affection for Uddhav Thackeray, we will continue to retain affection for him. Had Mr. Thackeray addressed the grievances of the 50 MLAs and considered taking the party forward on the ideals of ‘Hindutva’, then none of this would have happened,” says rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde speaking in Goa.

1:14 pm

BJP claims support of 170 MLAs

Maharashtra BJP leader Girish Mahajan on Thursday claimed that his party has the support of 170 MLAs, way above the 145-majority mark in the 288-member House that is necessary to form a government in the State.

The BJP is set to return to power in the State with the support of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray tendered his resignation on Wednesday night, leading to the collapse of the 31-month-long three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Speaking to reporters here, former minister Mr. Mahajan said, “We have a support of 170 MLAs. We can comfortably face a floor test whenever we are asked to prove majority.” The BJP’s strength in the House is 106, and it claims to have the support of at least 13 legislators. -PTI

12:50 pm

Shinde to head to Mumbai by 1 pm flight

Sources say Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde to head to Mumbai from Goa by 1 pm flight, no other rebel MLA to accompany him. A meeting between BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and Shinde is likely to happen today evening. As per sources, the discussions will centre around ministerial berths in the new government. -Shoumojit Banerjee

12:13 pm

HC terms plea against rebel Sena MLAs as ‘politically induced’, also dismisses PIL against Thackerays

The Bombay High Court on Thursday termed as “politically induced litigation” a PIL filed by seven citizens seeking action against dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and other rebel MLAs of the party and said it would hear the plea if the petitioners deposit ₹1 lakh as security.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik also dismissed another public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social worker Hemant Patil seeking registration of an FIR against Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, his son Aaditya Thackeray and party leader Sanjay Raut for “sedition and breach of public peace”.

Both the pleas were filed earlier this week.

10:36 am

Sena rebels to hold meeting to decide way ahead after Uddhav’s resignation

Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by senior leader Eknath Shinde, who are currently camping in Goa, will hold a meeting on Thursday to decide the way forward as they are likely to support the BJP to form the next government in Maharashtra following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister.

A chartered flight carrying the breakaway MLAs landed at the Dabolim airport in Goa on Wednesday night from Guwahati. They are staying in a luxury hotel at Dona Paula. -PTI

10:34 am

We have to decide whether MVA will continue as coalition: Thorat

After the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, senior Congressman Balasaheb Thorat says all three parties- Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress - will have to sit together and decide on an opposition leader. “We will also have to decide on whether the MVA will continue as a coalition,” says Mr. Thorat -Shoumojit Banerjee

9:44 am

Day after Uddhav’s resignation, BJP to hold meetings in Mumbai to decide next course of action

The BJP, which is expected to stake claim to form the next government in Maharashtra soon following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister, will be holding a series of meetings here on Thursday to decide the future course of action, where the party’s State in-charge C.T. Ravi will remain present, party sources said.

Mr. Ravi, who has arrived in Mumbai on Thursday morning, will attend a meeting at ‘Sagar’ bungalow, the official residence of Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis with senior party leaders, including its state chief Chandrakant Patil. The BJP has also asked all of its MLAs to remain in Mumbai city till the next steps are taken, they said. -PTI

9:36 am

All eyes on Raj Bhavan for next govt formation

A day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra chief minister, all eyes are on Raj Bhavan to see when does Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invite the BJP to form the next government in the State.

The process for the change of regime in the State, which began with the rebellion of around 40 of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs under Eknath Shinde’s leadership, got a boost after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Mr. Koshyari on Tuesday night and asked him to order a floor test of the Thackeray government, claiming it had lost majority.

Mr. Thackeray (62) resigned Wednesday night, minutes after Supreme Court refused to stay Governor Koshyari’s direction to his government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday. -PTI

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