Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said he had proposed to BJP leadership to make Eknath Shinde, who had rebelled against Shiv Sena leadership, the new chief minister after the collapse of the MVA government last week.
Mr Fadnavis also admitted that he was not mentally prepared to assume the post of deputy chief minister, but changed his decision after a discussion was held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and intervention by BJP president JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
Mr 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".
Talking to reporters in Nagpur, Mr Fadnavis said the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had won the 2019 elections, but the mandate was "stolen". So his party and the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction came together for a "common ideology and not for power".
"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," Mr Fadnavis said.
Mr Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 with Mr Fadnavis as his deputy, a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the CM ahead of the floor test.
"It was also decided that I will stay out of the government. But BJP president JP Nadda called me and said the party has decided (to make me the deputy chief minister). Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to me," Mr Fadnavis said.
Mr Fadnavis said he was not mentally prepared to accept the Deputy ChoM's post and had made up his mind that he will help the Eknath Shinde government from outside.
"I changed my decision obeying the orders of my leaders," he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)