In a bid to quell reports of his disappointment over having to play second fiddle to Eknath Shinde ahead of the Cabinet formation in the state, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday, 9 July, said that Shinde is his "leader and the chief minister" and that everybody in his government will work under him.
Speaking to the media in Delhi, Fadnavis said that the "injustice" of forming the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was undone and the natural alliance with Shinde was formed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"As per the party's needs, I have been the chief minister once before. This time too, I have abided by the party's decision. Eknath Shinde is our leader and the chief minister, we all will work under him," Fadnavis said.
Negotiations Over Cabinet Formation
The two leaders met several leaders in Delhi including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and BJP chief JP Nadda in Delhi earlier on Saturday amid buzz over Cabinet formation in the state, days after the alliance proved its majority in the Maharashtra Assembly on 4 July.
The discussions with Shah are learnt to have centred around the power-sharing formula between the BJP and the Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena.
"I am confident that under the guidance of Narendra Modi, both of you will serve the people faithfully and take Maharashtra to newer heights of development," Shah took to Twitter to say after the meeting.
Shinde also took to Twitter to say that Nadda has assured the party's support for the smooth functioning of the new Maharashtra government and the alliance.
Reiterating the claims of Shiv Sena MLAs being under political threat in the MVA, Shinde assured that the alliance with the BJP will complete five years in office.
Speaking on the petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena seeking disqualification of Shinde and 15 MLAs of his faction, the hearing of which is scheduled for 11 July, Shinde said that he has faith in the judiciary and asserted the group led by him had the support of two-thirds of the Shiv Sena MLAs.
"The Speaker has also granted us recognition," he said.
(With inputs from PTI).