In a move that no one saw coming, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will be the new Maharashtra Chief Minister, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis announced. Shinde will take oath at 7:30 pm today (Thursday, June 30) and the cabinet will be expanded later to accommodate MLAs from both sides, he added.
Fadnavis, meanwhile, said he will stay out of the government and ensure that it runs smoothly. "I will remain out of the government, but I shall do everything possible to make the new government a success on all fronts, and resume the developmental activities that had stopped in the past two-and-a-half years," he said.
The BJP leader made the announcement at a joint press meet after the duo met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, ahead of the swearing-in slated for later in the evening.
Speaking about the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde, Fadnavis said the Shiv Sena MLAs were demanding that the alliance with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) should be ended but Uddhav Thackeray ignored these MLAs and gave priority to Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance partners.
The BJP leader said the Shiv Sena formed an alliance with those "who are against Hindutva & Savarkar". Shiv Sena insulted the mandate of the people, he added.
Meanwhile, CM-designate Shinde said today's decision "is committed to Balasaheb's Hindutva & for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs". We have 50 MLAs with us, he added.