“I don’t think Devendra Fadnavis has accepted the Number Two position of Deputy Chief Minister happily,” Pawar was quoted as saying by news agency 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,” Pawar said. Nagpur is the headquarters of the RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor.
Earlier Fadnavis had announced that rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde will be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He said he would not be part of the government but support it from outside, defying a buzz that has been building up for more than a week that he will head the next government.
Just three hours later, the two-time Chief Minister was seen taking oath along with Shinde– as his deputy.
His acceptance was last-minute. An extra chair was brought so that he could join Mr Shinde on the dais for the oath ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
Fadnavis had made it clear that he was just following orders.
“As an authentic worker, I follow the orders of the party. The order of the party that brought me to the highest position is paramount to me. As an honest worker, I follow the orders of the party. The order of the party which gave me the highest position,” he said in a Marathi tweet.
The BJP’s Central leadership had told reporters that it was their decision that Fadnavis be part of the new government.
“Made a personal request to him… the Central leadership has said that Devendra Fadnavis should take charge as Deputy Chief Minister,” BJP chief JP Nadda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“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. This decision is a sign of his true loyalty and service towards Maharashtra. For this I heartily congratulate him,” tweeted the BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah.
With inputs from NDTV