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Eknath Shinde to be new Maharashtra CM, to take oath today

MUMBAI: Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will take oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister, a day after Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation from the top post bringing to an end the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement on Thursday after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to stake a claim to form the government in the state.

He said that the oath-taking ceremony of Shinde as Maharashtra CM will be held at 7.30 pm today.

"Eknath Shinde to be the Maharashtra Chief Minister, oath ceremony to be held at 7.30 pm today," Fadnavis told media persons in a press conference here.

At present, the BJP has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and Shinde is leading 39 rebel Shiv Sena legislators and some Independents. After the death of a Shiv Sena MLA recently, the current strength of the Assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.

Shinde, who has been leading a rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray following the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, met Fadnavis at the latter's residence today.

Earlier today, a spokesperson of the Shinde camp, Deepak Kesarkar said that rebels have given Shinde full authority to take a decision on the cabinet berth-sharing in the government. He said that they did not revolt for the cabinet berths, but for the development of the state.

Clearing the air around the distribution of portfolios with the BJP, Shinde had said that there has been no discussion, but talks will happen soon.

Maharashtra Assembly Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat has informed all state MLAs that as per the Governor's orders the special session that was scheduled on Thursday will now not be convened.

In a circular, Rajendra Bhagwat, Principal Secretary, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, informed all state MLAs that as per the Governor's orders, there's no need for a floor test now, so today's special session will not be convened.

The Floor Test that was convened by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Shiv Sena.

The apex court, however, declined to stay the Floor Test and in its observation said that the floor of the House was the only way to settle these issues of democracy.

Minutes after the order by the top court on Wednesday, Thackeray addressed the people of the state via social media in which he announced his decision to step down as chief minister and as a Member of the Legislative Council.

Thackeray, whose party's internal revolt brought down the MVA government, said he came to power in "an unexpected manner" and was "going out in a similar fashion".

"I had come (to power) in an unexpected manner and I am going out in a similar fashion. I am not going away forever, I will be here, and I will once again sit in Shiv Sena Bhavan. I will gather all my people. I am resigning as the CM and as an MLC," he said.

Thackeray became Chief Minister after Shiv Sena joined hands with Nationalist Congress Party and Congress to form the government in Maharashtra following the 2019 Assembly elections. Shiv Sena leadership had differences with its pre-poll ally BJP and wanted the post of Chief Minister.

 

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