Refusal, Persuasion & Acceptance: How BJP Managed to Turn Deputy CM Fadnavis' No Into Yes in Just 2 HoursJuly 01,2022
It was just a span of two hours that sealed the fate of Maharashtra’s new deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. As the state’s political crisis came to an end with the exit of Uddhav Thackeray and his bête noire Eknath Shinde being elevated as chief minister, what took many by surprise was the BJP’s decision to back the rebel leader for the top post and not Fadnavis, who would have been at the helm for the third time.
The move generated buzz but for those in the know, it was clear — by backing Shinde, the BJP had played a masterstroke, aimed at not only politically decimating the Uddhav Thackeray clan but also staking a claim to the legacy of Bal Thackeray who always wanted an ordinary Shiv Sainik to wear the chief minister’s crown.
For Fadnavis, however, the transition is mammoth. From being chief minister to the master strategist who silently chipped away at the Sena and its might, the BJP loyalist will now play deputy to Shinde.
As he announced Shinde’s name in a joint press briefing at Raj Bhavan on Thursday, Fadnavis made it clear that he will not be a part of the Cabinet, but will provide outside support and ensure smooth functioning of the government and the alliance.
However, the game was far from over.
News18 brings you a lowdown on the two hours that changed Fadnavis’ decision:
Fadnavis declares support for Shinde and announces that only the rebel leader will take oath at 7.30pm while the expansion of the Cabinet will come later. He also clears the buzz around his role and says: “I will not be a part of the Cabinet, but I will take responsibility for the smooth functioning of the alliance and the government. I will provide full support and cooperation to the government.”
BJP chief JP Nadda requests Fadnavis to become the deputy CM of the state. “Former CM and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis declared Eknath Shinde as the new chief minister. He also showed a big heart and said that he will stay out of the Cabinet and support the government from the outside. It shows the character of our party and the leaders and proves that we do not work for any post,” he said.
“However, the BJP’s central leadership has decided that Devendra Fadnavis should be a part of the government. A request has been made to Fadnavis about the same in a personal capacity. The central leadership has conveyed to him that he should take charge as the deputy chief minister and fulfill the wishes of the people of Maharashtra,” Nadda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Taking to Twitter, Home Minister Amit Shah announces that Devendra Fadnavis will become the deputy chief minister of the state on Nadda’s request.
Fadnavis agrees and announces on Twitter that he will join the Cabinet on the orders of the party’s top brass.
Devendra Fadnavis takes oath as the deputy chief minister at Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan.