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HomemaharashtraShinde would remain Maharashtra CM even if disqualified: Fadnavis

Shinde would remain Maharashtra CM even if disqualified: Fadnavis

Mumbai: Amid the bunch of cases in various fora vis-a-vis the disqualification of Shiv Sena MLAs, the BJP’s troubleshooter and strategist Devendra Fadnavis has reiterated thatEknath Shinde would continue to remain the Maharashtra Chief Minister even if he has to become an MLC.

This is for the second time in as many days that Fadnavis, who is the Deputy Chief Minister, clarified that Shinde would continue as the Chief Minister for the full term that he has got.

In an interview to a Marathi news channel which was aired on Saturday evening, Fadnavis asserted that there is no threat to Shinde, who had taken over as Chief Minister on 30 June, 2022.

“Those who understand the orders of the Supreme Court (on disqualification of Shinde and other MLAs and toppling of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government) and Election Commission (in relation to the claim over the party and symbol), they would understand that Shinde would not get disqualified…the disqualificationproceedings are being held before Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker (Rahul Narwekar) ….hypothetically assume if he is disqualified, he remains the Chief Minister, he would be (elected as an) MLC (then),” Fadnavis said.

He said that the reports and rumours of disqualificationare being spread by Thackeray and his leaders to keep the flock together.

Asked if in case there is disqualification, he said: “First of all disqualification will not happen….we have studied the law and whatever has happened has happened under the framework of law…there is only Plan A…there is no Plan B….Shinde Saheb will continue as Chief Minister.”

On being asked to bring in NCP’s Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister, he said that there is nothing wrong with increasing the strength.

“A strong government was not possible under the leadership of Thackeray,” he said, adding that several rounds of discussions were held before the decision was reached.

He also said that when Pawar joined the government, it was agreed upon that Shinde would be the Chief Minister. “Ajit Dada is a mature politician…it was agreed that he would be the Deputy Chief Minister and we have honoured it,” he said.

It may be mentioned after Pawar joined the government there has been speculations that he would eventually assume the top post in the event of Shinde’s disqualification.

(Published 29 October 2023, 09:28 IST)

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