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'Had I requested...': What Devendra Fadnavis said on Maharashtra CM post

Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Eknath Shinde interacts with state Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis at Taj Hotel in Mumbai. (ANI Photo) (Deepak Salvi)

The clarification comes after it was rumoured that the two-time former chief minister was unhappy with the Shiv Sena -BJP alliance's decision to make Shinde the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra

"Our leaders Narendra Modi ji, Amit Shah and JP Nadda ji, and with my approval (the decision to make Shinde the chief minister was taken).... It will not be wrong if it is said that I took this proposal (to the BJP leadership) that Shinde is made the chief minister and they (the leadership) accepted it," Fadnavis said.

Eknath Shinde's rebellion that went on for eleven days right after the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections results were announced, ousted Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister of the state. 

On Monday, 4 July, Shinde also secured an easy win at the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly and was welcomed with showers of flower to his constituency. 

Fadnavis had earlier declared that he would not take part in the Maharashtra government even after Shinde was declared as the chief minister. Minutes later, however, he took oath as the deputy chief minister of the state. 

He allegedly accepted the post after BJP president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah intervened and told him 'the government won't run (if he) stayed out of it'. "So I accepted the deputy CM post on their command," he said.

"Had I requested, I could have become chief minister. We made (a) Shiv Sena (leader) chief minister for ideology... it was my proposal to make Shinde chief minister but senior party leaders said govt won't run if I stayed out, so I accepted deputy post on their command," he was quoted by news agency ANI.

Fadnavis said that the BJP leadership believed that he should be part of the government as it was not right to run the government through an "extra-constitutional authority".

On 30 June, speculations rose that Fadnavis would be made the chief minister of Maharashtra with Shinde as his deputy. These speculations rose a day after Uddhav resigned from his post on being asked to face floor test by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, which Thackeray was almost certain to lose. 

However, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance dropped a bomb when they declared Shinde as the CM, right after he and Fadnavis had visited Koshyari's residence to stake their claim to the government.

At that time, Fadnavis said that BJP and he would only extend external support to the Shinde led government. 

Minutes later, though, there was (another) twist - senior party leaders from Delhi decided that Fadnavis (and the BJP) would, in fact, join the government.

Party chief JP Nadda spoke first and then home minister Amit Shah confirmed Fadnavis would be the deputy; both praised him for accepting the order.

Shinde, meanwhile, praised Fadnavis for showing 'a big heart'.

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