Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah among others for reposing confidence in him. Backed by the BJP, Shinde on Thursday took oath as the chief minister with the support of a breakaway faction of Shiv Sena MLAs and Independents. "Fadnavis has shown a big heart by giving me the opportunity to become chief minister," Shinde added.
He said not only his colleagues in the Assembly but also Maharashtra is happy that "Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik has become the chief minister". "My colleagues and entire Maharashtra is happy that Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainik has become the chief minister of the state," Shinde commented.
In a series of political developments that unfolded in Mumbai, Shinde was sworn in as chief minister of Maharashtra while BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as his deputy. His swearing-in was celebrated by the Shiv Sena MLAs who continued to remain at the resort at Dona Paula in Goa.
After landing at Dabolim Airport, Shinde went to the resort, 30 km away, where the MLAs were waiting to welcome him.
Shinde said his government will work to deliver justice to every section of society. "We will also take ahead the vision of Balasaheb Thackeray."
Asked about cabinet expansion, he said the future strategy would be discussed in the meeting with his colleagues. Later, while interacting with reporters at the resort in Goa's Dona Paula, the newly sworn-in Maharashtra chief minister thanked Modi, Shah and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for reposing faith in him.
Shinde said he will ensure ample developmental work in the constituencies of all the 50 MLAs who supported him. The Shiv Sena leader also said he is well aware of the experience of these legislators during the last two-and-a-half years. He said that the floor test in the Assembly is a "mere formality" as he claimed to enjoy the support of 175 MLAs.