Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday clarified that Eknath Shinde is the leader of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra. The remark came soon after state party president Chandrakant Patil said that BJP had made Shinde the CM with a “heavy heart”.
Addressing the BJP state executive at Panvel in Navi Mumbai, Patil, in the inaugural speech, said: “It was with a heavy heart that BJP made Eknath Shinde the CM. It was sad… But we digested the decision and happily agreed to move ahead.”
“The decision had to be taken to convey right message… For this Fadnavis, who was the claimant of the CM post, sacrificed, which is laudable,” he added.
Soon, the video of Patil making the statement went viral on social media, creating a flutter. The BJP went into damage control mode by withdrawing the video from all platforms and also ordering an internal probe on how it was leaked.
Underplaying Patil’s remarks, Fadnavis, while concluding the day-long conclave, said: “In any government, there is always only one CM who is the leader. Accordingly, Eknath Shinde is the CM and the leader of the newly formed Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.”
“When Shinde’s name was announced for the CM’s post, it had shocked BJP workers. Patil was conveying the initial sentiments of the BJP workers. It was not meant to demean Shinde,” he added. Fadnavis also said, “When Shinde, along with Sena rebels, walked out of MVA, nothing was certain. He took a giant step to preserve Bal Thackeray’s ideology. And the 50 MLAs who followed him, left the government to join the Opposition. Therefore, we rightly decided to honour Shinde with leadership and the CM’s post.”