In a dramatic twist to the ongoing political upheavals in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena's group leader Eknath Shinde will take oath as the new Chief Minister of the state at the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday evening.
BJP's Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement after calling on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with CM-elect Shinde on Thursday afternoon.
"We have submitted a list to the Governor of all the BJP MLAs, the group led by Shindeji, 16 Independents and others, with more joining us soon," said Fadnavis.
Accordingly, Shinde will be sworn-in alone as the CM on Thursday at 7.30 pm at the Raj Bhavan; later, the cabinet will be expanded to accommodate MLAs from both sides.
"I will remain out of the government, but I shall do everything possible to make the new government a success on all fronts, and resume the developmental activities that had stopped in the past two-and-a-half years," said Fadiavis.
Who Is Eknath Shinde?
A prominent Shiv Sena leader in the region, Eknath Shinde is believed to be the backbone of the regional politics, having been elected consecutively for four terms in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly; from 2004 to 2019. He played a crucial role in strengthening Shiv Sena in the region and was also given the post of Leader of the Opposition in 2014 after Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP.
Currently serving as a Minister of Urban Affairs in the coalition MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government, Shinde is the face of Sena in Thane. He has strengthened the party in several places other than Thane and is responsible for organising big party events. He had also recently visited Ayodhya along with Maharashtra Minister Aditya Thackeray. His son Dr Srikant Shinde is a Shiv Sena MP from Kalyan.