On Backing Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra BJP Chief's "Heavy Heart" Remark

The central BJP leadership and Devendra Fadnavis decided to back Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister with a heavy heart, said Chandrakant Patil.

On Backing Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra BJP Chief's 'Heavy Heart' Remark

Chandrakant Patil said the decision was taken to send the right message. (File)

Mumbai:

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Saturday said the party decided with a heavy heart that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde should become the state's chief minister instead of Devendra Fadnavis.

The decision was taken to send the right message, he said, speaking at a meeting of the state BJP's executive committee at Panvel, near Mumbai.

The BJP, the largest single party in the Maharashtra Assembly, sprang a surprise on June 30 when it announced that Mr Shinde, who had split the Sena and toppled the Uddhav Thackeray government, should become the Chief Minister.

"We needed to provide a leader who would convey the right message and ensure stability. The central leadership and Devendra-ji decided to back Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister with a heavy heart. We were unhappy but decided to accept the decision," Mr Patil said.

After the Uddhav Thackeray government collapsed due to the rebellion by a group of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs led by Mr Shinde, it was expected that Mr Fadnavis would become the Chief Minister.

But Mr Fadnavis announced that Mr Shinde would lead the new government.

Mr Fadnavis, a former Chief Minister, also said that he would stay outside the government, but within a couple of hours, BJP president J P Nadda announced that Mr Fadnavis will take oath as deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, when asked about Mr Patil's comments, state BJP leader Ashish Shelar told reporters that it was not the party's or Mr Patil's own stand, but he was articulating the feelings of ordinary workers.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

.