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Eknath Shinde Sworn In As New Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis Becomes His Deputy

While Eknath Shinde began by paying tributes to late Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe, his supporters shouted slogans hailing Thackeray and Dighe as he finished taking the oath.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshari administering the oath of office to Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Min
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshari administering the oath of office to Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Min Photo by Dinesh Parab/Outlook

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was on Thursday sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister, while BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy chief minister.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to them at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai shortly after 7.30 pm.

Shinde began by paying tributes to late Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe. His supporters shouted slogans hailing Thackeray and Dighe as he finished taking the oath.

Earlier on Thursday, BJP president J P Nadda said Fadnavis would be part of the new Maharashtra cabinet led by Shinde, minutes after Fadnavis announced he will not be in the government.

Fadnavis had sprang a surprise when he announced that Shinde will be the next chief minister. His announcement defied expectations that he would return to the post with the support of the Shinde faction.

"Development of the state is my priority. I will take all sections of society along with me," Shinde told after the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Shinde, who arrived in Mumbai from Goa on Thursday afternoon, met Fadnavis and several other BJP leaders at the latter's official residence in south Mumbai to discuss the formation of the next government in Maharashtra following the collapse of the MVA dispensation a day ago.

The BJP has said that it has the support of a total of 170 MLAs, including those from Shinde's rebel faction. The Mumbai police had made heavy security arrangements in view of Shinde's arrival in the city.

Following day-long political upheaval in the Maharashtra government, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray had resigned from the post of Maharashtra chief minister on Wednesday. Thackeray in a televised address made the announcement of his resignation after losing his case inside Supreme Court. The Apex Court in its order had directed the former to prove its majority tomorrow. 

"I don't want to play these games. If those people who were brought up by the Sena chief (Balasaheb Thackeray) want to rejoice in the fact that they pulled his son down then it is my mistake that I put my faith in them. I don't want the blood of my Shiv Sainiks to spill on the streets and so I am stepping down from the CM's post as well as that of an MLC," said Thackeray in a televised address, that has garnered praise on the social media for his "grace and poise", as many described it. Uddhav Thackeray also quit as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. 

Uddhav Thackeray visited a temple after submitting his resignation as Maharashtra CM to the Governor.

Earlier, the SC agreed to hear at 5 pm the plea of Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu challenging the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday. But with the resignation, the floor test is now void. 

Following the resignation, BJP leaders were seen distributing sweets and heard shouting slogans at Mumbai's Taj hotel. At the centre of it, all was former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, who met the Governor Tuesday evening and set off the end game.

Taking to Twitter, the BJP Maharashtra tweeted a video of Fadnavis, saying, "I will come again For the creation of a new Maharashtra! Jai Maharashtra."

BJP leader BL Santosh stated, "End of one of the darkest period of administration for Maharashtra. Along with ideological bankruptcy , unparalleled corruption, destruction of administrative apparatus, halting a vibrant economic environment the period also saw the new low of major section of media."

BJP core group meet gets underway at Devendra Fadnavis's bungalow, as per media reports.

Maharashtra Legislature Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat issued a statement saying there won’t be a special session of the Assembly on Thursday as the purpose for which it was convened (floor test) does not exist anymore.

The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by senior leader Eknath Shinde, who is currently camping in Goa, were scheduled to hold a meeting on Thursday to decide the way forward as they are likely to support the BJP to form the next government in Maharashtra following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister. 

A chartered flight carrying the breakaway MLAs landed at the Dabolim airport in Goa on Wednesday night from Guwahati. They have been staying in a luxury hotel at Dona Paula.

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