Hours after rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar said in a press conference on Thursday, 30 June, that nobody expected Shinde to be appointed to the top post.
He said that the rebel MLAs and Shinde himself were expecting that he would take up the Deputy CM post. The NCP chief said,
"I don't think that the one who led MLAs to Assam had expected more than the post of Deputy CM. But in BJP, as per order - be it from Delhi or Nagpur - CM post has been given to Eknath Shinde...The person who was CM and LoP has been asked to take oath as Deputy CM. It's shocking."
'Shiv Sena Is Not Finished': NCP Chief
Commenting on the future of Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena, Pawar said that the party had previously fought back many rebellions and said that he believed that Shiv Sena was not finished, reported Hindustan Times.
He said, "I don’t think Shiv Sena is finished. Previously, too, Chhagan Bhujbal rebelled but he and his supporters later lost elections. Narayan Rane too later faced defeat. Sena has faced multiple rebellions."
The NCP chief had earlier congratulated Shinde on his appointment as the CM and hoped that he would protect the interests of Maharashtra.
"Congratulations to Eknath Shinde on his election as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra! I sincerely hope that the interests of Maharashtra will be safeguarded by him."
According to news agency ANI, Pawar said, "He showed the power of taking such a large number of MLAs to Guwahati. He inspired people to quit Shiv Sena. I don't know if it happened earlier. But it didn't happen without preparation."
Meanwhile, several others from India's political fabric congratulated Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis on becoming the new chief minister and deputy chief Minister of Maharashtra respectively.
'I Hope You Do Well For Maharashtra': Former CM Uddhav Thackeray
Former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray congratulated new Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and new deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis after they took oath in Raj Bhavan.
He said in a tweet, "Congratulations to the newly appointed Chief Minister of Maharashtra @mieknathshinde G and Deputy Chief Minister @Dev_Fadnavis G for what lies ahead. I hope you do well for Maharashtra! (sic)".
NCP leader and former Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar took to Twitter to congratulate Shinde and Fadnavis.
Maharashtra NCP Chief Jayant Patil also tweeted, "Congratulations to Shri Eknathraoji Shinde on behalf of me and NCP (sic.) Maharashtra is a very advanced state, Shri Eknathraoji should take the state to new heights,I wish him all the best."
PM Modi, Amit Shah and MEA Jaishankar Congratulate
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "I would like to congratulate Shri @mieknathshinde Ji on taking oath as Maharashtra CM. A grassroots level leader, he brings with him rich political, legislative and administrative experience. I am confident that he will work towards taking Maharashtra to greater heights (sic)."
"Congratulations to Shri @Dev_Fadnavis Ji on taking oath as Maharashtra Deputy CM. He is an inspiration for every BJP Karyakarta. His experience and expertise will be an asset for the Government. I am certain he will further strengthen Maharashtra’s growth trajectory (sic)." he added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also congratulated the pair, and said, "Hearty congratulations to Shri @mieknathshinde ji on taking oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shri @Dev_Fadnavis ji as Deputy Chief Minister."
"I am confident that under the guidance of PM @narendramodi ji, this new government will work with a dedicated spirit for the development of Maharashtra and the interests of the people," the Gandhinagar MP added.
Meanwhile, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar took to twitter to congratulate Shinde and Fadnavis, and said:
"Congratulate Eknath Shinde for taking over as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Devendra Fadnavis as Deputy CM. Wish them all success in their new responsibilities. Confident that their leadership will take Maharashtra forward and contribute to India’s higher standing in the world."