Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on December 4 raised political eyebrows after proclaiming that Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis would take oath as the next CM of Maharashtra after the 2024 State Assembly election.
Addressing a conclave of BJP party workers in the State’s Bhandara district, Mr. Bawankule said that the party cadre should ensure that 45 of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra should be bagged by the ruling ‘Mahayuti’ coalition (headed by CM Eknath Shinde’s camp of the Shiv Sena, the BJP and Ajit Pawar’s rebel NCP faction) in the 2024 general election.
“The first resolution of this meeting should be that when Narendra Modi takes oath as the Prime Minister for the third time (after the 2024 Lok Sabha election), 45 of the MPs should be from the ‘Mahayuti’ and that the MP from Bhandara should be elected with the largest number of votes,” said Mr. Bawankule.
However, the BJP State chief then said that a new government would be formed in Maharashtra after the October 2024 election and that Mr. Fadnavis would be sworn-in as CM at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“The second resolution of 2024 will be when the Maharashtra Assembly elections are held in October and a new government is formed within November 30. Then, Devendra Fadnavis should be taking the oath as CM at the Wankhede stadium,” said Mr. Bawankule.
He further added that there was “only one tiger in Maharashtra - Devendra Fadnavis.”
Mr. Bawankule was addressing party workers after the BJP was flushed by its electoral victories in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. This is not the first time that the BJP state president has spoken of Mr. Fadnavis being sworn-in as the next CM of the State.
Earlier, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, whose rebel NCP faction forms the third component of the Eknath Shinde-led Mahayuti government, had said that such statements projecting a particular leader as the next CM were deliberately made by the party brass of all the three parties in a bid to enthuse their respective cadres.