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Eknath Shinde will continue to remain CM of Maharashtra: Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai (Maharashtra) : Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday dismissed Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan's claim that Ajit Pawar would be appointed as the chief minister replacing Eknath Shinde in August. "Nowadays, several senior leaders can be seen making speculations. They may speculate as much as they want. When we formed the Maha Yuti alliance, all three leaders of all three parties were clear that the CM is Eknath Shinde and he will continue to be the CM of Maha Yuti. There is not going to be any change to this," Devendra Fadnavis said. "As the leader of the biggest party of Maha Yuti, I would like to clearly say this - nobody should have any confusion in their mind. If Opposition tries to create confusion, it means they are indulging in kite flying and their kite will come down," he added. Earlier today, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan claimed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar who recently took oath as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister will be appointed as the CM very soon replacing Eknath Shinde. Chavan, while talking to ANI said that Pawar will become the chief minister of Maharashtra around August 10. "I can't reveal my sources. I talked a long time back on this and it is only analysis which indicates that Ajit Pawar will become CM of Maharashtra. Why I'm saying this because the disqualification matter of 40 MLAs is pending before the Speaker (Rahul Narwekar). Supreme Court must give its decision under 90 days and that period will finish on 10th August or before that. So, there is a chance for Ajit Pawar to become Chief Minister,” Chavan said. Questioning the recent visit of Eknath Shinde to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital, Chavan said that it indicates that Shinde is going to be “replaced” and the PM is biding him ‘farewell’. "Why PM Narendra Modi called him (Eknath Shinde) a few days back. This visit should have taken place one year back after Eknath Shinde became Chief Minister of Maharashtra. It indicates that CM Eknath Shinde will be disqualified soon. So, the PM is doing his farewell. Eknath Shinde and his faction clearly violated the 10th Schedule of Supreme Court and the decision will come any time,” he added. Earlier this month, in a surprise move, NCP's Ajit Pawar joined hands with the BJP-Shiv Sena, along with eight NCP MLAs. His political manoeuvre split the party founded by his uncle Sharad Pawar and changed the political equations of Maharashtra ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. While Ajit Pawar has drawn support from NCP leaders like Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal, and Dilip Walse Patil and claimed his faction to be the 'real NCP', Sharad Pawar has also asserted himself to be the party boss by expelling several leaders for 'anti-party activities'. Ajit Pawar's move is akin to the way Eknath Shinde split the undivided Shiv Sena last year and joined hands with the BJP, thereby pulling the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government out of power and securing the Chief Minister's post for himself.

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