In a major political twist prior to the state Assembly elections, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, on Wednesday has said that the issue of who will be the next Maharashtra Chief Minister has been discussed and decided with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey while attending Shiv Sena foundation day celebrations in Mumbai.
"Don't focus on the issue that who will become CM. Uddhav and I have decided a few things. We will tell you at the right time," he said to reporters at the event.
Incidentally, this was the first time that a sitting Chief Minister and political chief of another party have attended the Shiv Sena foundation day celebrations, according to reports. Fadnavis was present as the Chief guest at the event where he was personally invited by Uddhav Thackrey, as per sources.
Earlier on Sunday, two weeks of after quitting the Congress party, Radhakrishna Vikhe along with 12 other leaders took oath as ministers into the expanded Maharashtra Cabinet in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other ministers, as per sources. The newly inducted cabinet included 9 BJP ministers (Patil nominated on behalf of BJP), 2 Shiv Sena ministers and 1 RPI minister.
Prior to this move, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray met on Friday to discuss the cabinet expansion in Maharashtra where Shiv Sena had reportedly rejected the post of Deputy Chief Minister to avoid infighting in the party.
The party is reportedly eying the Chief Minister's post for Uddhav's son Aaditya Thackeray if the BJP-Sena alliance wins the state elections. Many Shiv Sena leaders have publically expressed the party's wishes to see Aaditya ascend the post.
While answering a question about rumours of Aaditya Thackeray contesting the state assembly elections, Saamna editor and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, on last Wednesday, said :
"Uddhav Thackeray will decide whether Aaditya will contest or not but Maharashtra needs a young CM like Aaditya Thackeray and we believe that the people of Maharashtra will accept Aaditya as their CM."
A day later, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant and Manohar Joshi too iterated the party's stance and said that Aaditya Thackeray is the rising sun and that Maharashtra needs him.
On June 11, sources had said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was disappointed and had expressed his disappointment over Mungatiwar's statement where he had allegedly said that BJP will have the right to the CM post. However, the Shiv Sena claims that as per seat-sharing deal, Chief Minister's post will be shared among the candidates of both the parties for 2.5 years each.