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Central leadership, Devendra Fadnavis decided to back Eknath Shinde as CM with 'heavy heart': Maharashtra BJP chief

The BJP, which is currently the largest single party in the Maharashtra Assembly, sprang a surprise when it announced that Eknath Shinde, who had split the Shiv Sena and toppled the Uddhav Thackeray government, should become the CM. 

Central leadership, Devendra Fadnavis decided to back Eknath Shinde as CM with 'heavy heart': Maharashtra BJP chief

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 here. 

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

"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 CM with a heavy heart. We were unhappy but decided to accept the decision," Patil said. 

After the Uddhav Thackeray government collapsed due to the rebellion by a group of 40 Shiv Sena MLAs led by Shinde, it was expected that Fadnavis would become the CM. But Fadnavis announced that Shinde would lead the new government. 

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

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

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