Eknath Shinde: PM Narendra Modi and Deputy PM Amit Shah made me Maharashtra’s chief minister despite…

New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who faces a crucial vote of confidence on Monday (July 4), said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s decision to accord him the top post despite BJP having more numbers has “opened the eyes of many”.

In his first address as the Maharashtra CM on the floor of the state Assembly, Shinde said a “BJP-Shiv Sena government” has taken charge of the state which is based on the beliefs of party founder Balasaheb Thackeray, ANI reported.

“Everyone knows that Devendra Fadnavis had 115 members with him. I had only 50. Still, he, PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah made me CM despite having numbers with them. This decision of the BJP has opened the eyes of many,” he said.

“Now a BJP-Shiv Sena government has taken charge, based on the beliefs of Balasaheb Thackeray. Till date, we had seen that people change sides from Opposition to the government but this time leaders of government went to the Opposition,” the new Maharashtra CM added.

Eknath Shinde made the remarks after BJP candidate Rahul Narwekar was elected as the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly with 164 votes in support and 107 against him. He defeated Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance’s nominee for the Speaker post. Narwekar (45) is the youngest ever Assembly Speaker in the country, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis noted. The new Assembly Speaker is the son-in-law of NCP leader Ramraje Nimbalkar, chairperson of the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

The two-day special session of the 288-member Assembly began at Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am on Sunday. The newly formed Eknath Shinde-led government will face a vote of confidence on Monday. The House has one vacancy owing to the death of Shiv Sena’s Ramesh Latke.

(With agency inputs)