Thackeray, Ajit Pawar, Fadnavis: In victory speech after trust vote, many on Eknath Shinde’s radar

The new Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde left through vote of confidence They faced off on the floor of the Assembly on Monday, effectively ending the many-day-long political flux in the state.

Shinde led a rebellion with a section of Shiv Sena legislators last month, which prompted the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government- a combination of Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In his nearly 75-minute-long victory speech after the trust vote victory, Shinde addressed a range of issues, such as the reasons behind his rebellion in the Shiv Sena, why so many party MLAs joined him, and why he shook hands with Indians. Janata Party, etc. He also mentioned several political leaders – taking a dig at some, and praising others.

“We were told that you do not want me to be the chief minister. This was told to us,” he said, referring to NCP leader Ajit Pawar. “I like your style of work. I didn’t mind when you interfered in my department. Why should I feel bad?”

Ajit Pawar was on Monday named the new Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, replacing BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, who is now the Deputy Chief Minister.

“Everyone was interfering in my department,” Shinde said in a candid jibe at Aaditya Thackeray.

He also said that when the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance was in power (2014-19), he was first promised the deputy chief minister’s post.

“I am Balasaheb’s Shiv Sainik. I was kept out of the Legislative Council meetings. We did not lose a single vote in the Rajya Sabha. Even for the Legislative Council, I got three extra votes because of my goodwill,” he said, referring to the Uddhav Thackeray-led army’s distrust against him.

The new chief minister also praised his deputy and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis As the real “artist” (artist) behind the formation of the new government.

“Our numbers were less (compared to BJP) but PM Narendra Modi blessed us. Modi sahib had told me before taking oath that he would help me in every possible way. Amit Shah sahab said that he will stand behind us like a rock.

“But the biggest artist (artist) is this,” he said, pointing to Fadnavis, who was sitting on the Treasury bench to his right.

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