BJP’s Maharashtra unit chief Chandrakant Patil on Saturday (July 23, 2022) said the party had taken the decision with a heavy heart that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde should become the chief minister instead of Devendra Fadnavis.
Addressing the BJP executive meeting in Panvel, he said that the decision was taken to make Eknath Shinde the chief minister to give the right message to the people. Let us tell you that on June 30, BJP surprised everyone by announcing Shinde as the CM in place of Fadnavis. Though Fadnavis had announced to stay out of the state cabinet, he was later sworn in as the deputy chief minister at the behest of the party leadership.
Patil said, “We needed to provide a leader who would give the right message and ensure stability. The central leadership and Devendra ji had decided to support Eknath Shinde as CM with a heavy heart. We were not happy, but we accepted the decision.”
Significantly, under Shinde’s leadership, 40 Shiv Sena MLAs had taken a rebellious stand and moved from Maharashtra to Gujarat and then to Assam. In such a situation there were less MLAs left in the Uddhav camp and his government fell. After this, it was expected that Fadnavis would become the CM, but Fadnavis announced that Shinde would head the new government.
Former CM Fadnavis also said that he would stay out of the government, but within hours BJP President JP Nadda announced that Fadnavis would take oath as the deputy CM.
Meanwhile, when asked about Patil’s comments, state BJP leader Ashish Shelar told reporters that it was not the party or Chandrakant Patil’s own stand, but he was expressing the sentiments of common workers.