Maharashtra: Shinde vetoes Thackeray's decision; Pawar targets Fadnavis' 'disgruntled' face
As the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government seized power in the state, political responses began to flow. The most significant response came from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. Pawar claimed that Devendra Fadnavis did not accept the deputy chief minister position "happily." Meanwhile, Shinde in his first move as CM vetoed Uddhav Thackeray's critical decision on Mumbai's contentious Metro car shed project.
- On Wednesday, Uddhav Thackeray's resignation put an end to the week-long political standoff in Maharashtra, caused by an uprising by Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde.
- The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has likewise disintegrated after a two-and-a-half-year tenure.
- Although it was expected that Fadnavis will be the CM, the new announcement throws a surprise for everyone.
"I don't think Devendra Fadnavis has accepted the number two position of deputy chief minister happily," Pawar told ANI. "It can be seen on his face. But he had lived in Nagpur. It is his ethos as a swayamsevak (of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), so he accepted the position," he said. Notably, Nagpur is the headquarters of the RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor.
On Thursday, Fadnavis first stated that Shinde will be the future CM of Maharashtra, adding that he would not be a part of the government but would provide support from outside. Hours later, though, the two-time Chief Minister was spotted taking the oath beside Shinde—as his deputy. His assent came at the last minute since he had stated that he was only following directions.
"At the behest of JP Nadda, Devendra Fadnavis, showing a big heart, has decided to join the government in the interest of the state of Maharashtra and the people," tweeted Home Minister and the BJP's chief strategist Amit Shah. "This decision is a sign of his true loyalty and service towards Maharashtra. For this, I heartily congratulate him," the tweet adds.
Meanwhile, hours after taking charge as Maharashtra CM, Shinde has reversed the Uddhav Thackeray government's stand on the controversial Metro car shed project in Mumbai. Shinde, as per NDTV, has directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to submit in court that the Metro car shed will be built at Aarey Colony as planned in 2019 under the Devendra Fadnavis government.
Environmental activists staged enormous demonstrations in Mumbai in 2019 when the government intended to fell trees at Aarey Colony, an urban forest many refer to as Mumbai's green lung, Protests arose immediately after the BMC approved the scheme. However, then CM Fadnavis justified the action by claiming that the area designated for the Metro car shed is not biodiversity or forest land.