Eknath Shinde Was Made CM 'With A Heavy Heart': Maharashtra BJP Chief

With 106 MLAs, the BJP is the single largest party in the 288-member Maharashtra legislative assembly. However, on June 30, it sprang a surprise by declaring that Eknath Shinde will be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

By Aalok Sensharma
Sun, 24 Jul 2022 08:04 AM IST
Minute Read
Eknath Shinde Was Made CM 'With A Heavy Heart': Maharashtra BJP Chief
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis address a press conference. (Photo: ANI)

Creating a major major flutter in Maharashtra's politics, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Chandrakant Patil on Saturday said the saffron party made rebel leader Eknath Shinde the Chief Minister instead of Devendra Fadnavis "with a heavy heart".

Patil, 63, made the remarks while speaking at a meeting of the state BJP's executive committee at Panvel.

"We needed to provide a leader who would convey the right message and ensure stability. The central leadership and Devendra-ji decided to back Eknath Shinde as CM with a heavy heart. We were unhappy but decided to accept the decision," Patil was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

With 106 MLAs, the BJP is the single largest party in the 288-member Maharashtra legislative assembly. However, on June 30, it sprang a surprise by declaring that Shinde, whose rebellion caused the downfall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, will be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

The announcement was made by Fadnavis, who was Maharashtra's Chief Minister from 2014-19. Initially, Fadnavis announced that he won't be a part of the Shinde government, but joined it later as Deputy Chief Minister after multiple requests by the BJP top brass.

Interestingly, Patil's remarks came after Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray predicted mid-term elections in Maharashtra, claiming Shinde's government will soon collapse. Speaking before a gathering of party workers in Paithan, the junior Thackeray said Shinde betrayed his father when he was unwell.

"Mark my words.. this government will soon collapse and Maharashtra will have to face mid-term polls," Thackeray was quoted as saying by PTI. "Bhumre was given Assembly ticket five times. When I thought of everything we have done for these people, tears came to my eyes. But this is not the time to cry, this is the time to fight."

The battle between the Shinde camp and team Thackeray is currently at the Supreme Court, which will hear the petitions filed by both factions of the Shiv Sena relating to the control of the party on August 1.

Team Thackeray has suffered multiple setbacks since the fall of the MVA. Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had also accepted the Shinde faction's demand to change the party leader in the House. Now the leader of Shiv Sena in the House will be Rahul Shewale.

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