Moments after rebel MLA Eknath Shinde took oath as the new chief minister of Maharashtra, he changed his Twitter profile picture with Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, perhaps sending out a subtle message to everyone as the rightful heir to the throne. Shinde took over the leadership after nine days of rebelling against the Shiv Sena's coalition with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.
वंदनीय हिंदुहृदयसम्राट शिवसेनाप्रमुख बाळासाहेब ठाकरे व धर्मवीर आनंद दिघे साहेब यांचे प्रथम स्मरण करून महाराष्ट्र राज्याचा मुख्यमंत्री म्हणून शपथ ग्रहण केली. सर्वांचे मनापासून धन्यवाद. काही क्षणचित्रे.#Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/IRGE1NIJFg— Eknath Shinde - एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) June 30, 2022
After being sworn in as the chief minister, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde said not only his colleagues in the Assembly but also Maharashtra is happy that "Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik has become the chief minister".
I would like to congratulate Shri @mieknathshinde Ji on taking oath as Maharashtra CM. A grassroots level leader, he brings with him rich political, legislative and administrative experience. I am confident that he will work towards taking Maharashtra to greater heights.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 30, 2022
Shinde said his government will work to deliver justice to every section of society. "We will also take ahead the vision of Balasaheb Thackeray."
The Shinde faction has declared in the Supreme Court that they are the real Sena. His argument is that Mr Thackeray has diluted the Hindutva ideology of Bal Thackeray by forming a coalition with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, which he called an "unnatural alliance".
Shinde had the support of 39 MLAs while Thackeray's section had only 15.