“People taunt that it’s an ED government. Yes, it’s an ED government, of Eknath-Devendra,” — Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis employed some wordplay in the assembly today, using Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s and his own name, to counter the charge that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was misused to effect the change in government.
The BJP leader said that in Eknath Shinde, “a Shiv Sainik has become the CM”. The BJP-Shiv Sena pre-poll alliance received the mandate in 2019, he said, “but the majority was deliberately taken away from us”. He was referring to Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena having chosen to ditch the BJP to form the government in a pact with the Congress and NCP — a government that fell last week after Eknath Shinde led a mutiny in the Sena.
The new government proved its majority today — it won the trust test 164-99 — cementing Mr Shinde’s position as Chief Minister and the leader of the Shiv Sena.
“With Eknath Shinde, we have once again formed our government with Shiv Sena,” said Mr Fadnavis, a former chief minister. “I became Deputy CM as per my party’s command.”
“I would have even sat at home had the party told me to,” he added, “The same party that made me a CM. Today I tell you that there will never be a tussle for power in this government; we’ll continue cooperating.”