Devendra Fadnavis will be Maharashtra’s first BJP chief minister
MUMBAI: Devendra Fadnavis will head Maharashtra’s
first BJP government after its newly elected legislators set aside their
differences to pick the 44-year-old as their house leader.
Bharatiya Janata Party activists here and across the
sprawling state celebrated after Eknath Khadse, who was a contender for the
post, proposed Fadnavis’ name at a meeting overseen by party veterans from
Fadnavis’ candidature was seconded by Vinod Tawde,
Sudhir Mungantiwar and Pankaja Munde, daughter of the late Gopinath Munde who
too was in the race for the chief minister’s post at one point.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and party leaders Rajiv
Pratap Rudy, OP Mathur and JP Nadda were at the meeting at the Maharashtra
Fadnavis will be Maharashtra’s youngest chief minister
after Sharad Pawar, who was 38 when he took charge in 1978, and the second
Brahmin to preside over the state after the Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi.
Fadnavis, who took to politics when he was barely 22
years old, pledged to provide good governance - a la Narendra Modi.
“I assure the people of Maharashtra that we will make
efforts to take Maharashtra forward the way (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has
given good governance and is guiding the country on the path of development,”
said Fadnavis, who is married to bank manager Amruta and father of a teenaged
Informed sources said the BJP leadership decided after
days of internal deliberations that Fadnavis would be the best bet to lead the
party in the state after it came on top of a fractured electoral verdict.
Fadnavis is likely to be sworn in at a public ceremony
at the Wankhede Stadium to be attended by Modi, Shah, BJP chief ministers and
over 30,000 guests.
Hailing from Nagpur, the 1970-born Fadnavis has strong
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) connections that helped him overcome the
challenge to his leadership, including by mentor and central minister Nitin