Thu, 30 Jun 2022 10:35 PM IST
In a surprising move, Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde on Thursday took oath as the new chief minister of Maharashtra while BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis touted to be the CM, was sworn in as the state's deputy chief minister. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari administered the oath to the duo at the Raj Bhavan today.
Reacting to the last-minute change in the chief ministerial post, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar, whose party in coalition with Congress and Shiv Sena formed the MVA government in the state in 2019, congratulated Shinde on becoming the CM but asserted that the rebellion which Shinde launched could not take place without prior preparations.
"I congratulate Eknath Shinde on his new responsibility. He showed the power of taking such a large number of MLAs to Guwahati. He inspired people to quit Shiv Sena. I don't know if it happened earlier. But it didn't happen without preparation", Pawar, as quoted by ANI, said.
"I spoke with Eknath Shinde and extended my greetings. I also expressed my expectations that Head of a State leads entire state and not just a party. You might represent a party but after oath you represent the state. So, I expect him to work to resolve issues of all departments", he added.
Pawar further noted Devendra Fadnavis did not appear to be happy while accepting the deputy chief minister's post in Eknath Shinde's government. "I think Fadnavis has not accepted the number two position happily. His facial expression said it all," Pawar said.
"(But) He is from Nagpur and he has worked as a 'swayamsevak' (with the RSS) and there, when an order comes, it has to be followed," the NCP chief said, adding that Fadnavis might have accepted a junior position due to this 'sanskar' (values)", he added.
Pawar also said that the Eknath Shinde faction, which was camping in Guwahati after rebelling against the Uddhav Thackeray government, had not expected that their leader would become anything more than a deputy CM.
"But after the BJP's central leadership gave the orders, chief minister's post was given to Shinde. Nobody had an inkling about it. I think Shinde himself had no idea. The second surprise, which I do not think is a surprise really, is that Devendra Fadnavis, who worked as CM for five years and then opposition leader, had to take the post of Deputy CM following directions from the central leadership," said Pawar.
Hailing Uddhav Thackeray's simplicity, the 81-year-old NCP chief said that when Uddhav trusts someone he gives him full responsibility. In the case of Eknath Shinde, he gave him full responsibility for the party and Vidhan Sabha but he betrayed him.
"I think Uddhav Thackeray gives complete responsibility once he trusts someone. He showed the same trust in Eknath Shinde and gave him the responsibility for Vidhan Sabha and the party. I don't know if the political crisis is a result of that", Pawar said.