Tue, 05 Jul 2022 10:48 PM IST
Putting rest to media reports claiming that he is not happy with the deputy chief minister's post, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that it was his proposal to make Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde the chief minister of Maharashtra. Fadnavis, who was sworn in as Shinde's deputy last week, asserted that if he had requested, he could have become the CM but "given top post to Shinde because of ideology".
"Had I requested, I could have become the Chief Minister. We made Shiv Sena's representative as a Chief Minister for ideology. It was my proposal to make Shinde the CM," Fadnavis, during a press briefing in Nagpur, said.
Fadnavis also admitted that he was not mentally prepared to assume the post of deputy CM, but changed his decision after a discussion was held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and intervention by BJP president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
Fadnavis said BJP leadership believed that he should be part of the government as it was not right to run the government through an "extra-constitutional authority". "Senior party leaders insisted that government won't run if I stayed out of it, so I accepted the Deputy Chief Ministerial post on their command," said Fadnavis.
"The order of the party's seniors was paramount to me and the BJP leadership believed that he should be part of the government," he said, adding, "People used to think that BJP is eager for power, it is doing this for the post of CM, but despite having 106 MLAs, we made Eknath Shinde the CM. It's my responsibility to ensure that Eknath Shinde is a successful CM".
Taking a veiled dig at former Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis said that he should introspect. "One person has polluted the politics of Maharashtra and put state politics' culture into a ditch, you know who that person is. He should introspect," he added.
Eknath Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Maharashtra, while BJP stalwart Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy CM. Cementing his rebellion, Shinde also won the floor test on Monday in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it.
Last month, Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against his party, Shiv Sena. The majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray.