In yet another shock move, BJP's central leadership on Thursday made a "personal request" to Devendra Fadnavis to take charge as deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
"BJP's central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should become a part of the Govt. So, made a personal request to him and Central leadership has said that Devendra Fadnvais should take charge as Deputy CM of Maharashtra," said BJP national president JP Nadda.
Earlier today, Fadnavis announced that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will be the Chief Minister and that 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.
Meanwhile, Shinde will take oath of office at 7.30 pm.
Talking to reporters after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with Shinde at Raj Bhavan, Fadnavis said some rebel Sena MLAs, BJP legislators as well as Independents will be inducted during the cabinet expansion later.
CM-designate Shinde, meanwhile, said he was committed to "Maharashtra's overall development," and his appointment as CM was a "victory" of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray's ideology and his mentor late "Dharmaveer" Anand Dighe's teachings.
He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for giving him the opportunity to serve as chief minister.
He has the support of 50 MLAs including some legislators of small parties and Independents, Shinde claimed, adding, "More will join."