MUMBAI: Devendra Fadnavis, the young four-time legislator from Nagpur, will be the BJP’s first Chief Minister in Maharashtra. And the 44-year-old, who has a squeaky clean image, will be sworn in along with a “small” Council of Ministers on Friday.
After he was elected as the Legislative Party leader, Fadnavis led a BJP delegation to Governor Vidyasagar Rao and staked his claim to form the government. And the Governor has asked Fadnavis to prove his majority in the House within 15 days of taking oath as the CM.
In the state dominated by Maratha politicians and issues about the politically influential caste, Fadnavis will be only the second Brahmin after Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi to become the CM. Brahmins, who make up a mere 3.5 per cent of the state’s population, are a minority in Maharashtra.
Earlier on Tuesday, the 121 newly elected BJP legislators chose him as their leader at the Legislative Party meeting here in the presence of the party’s central observers, Rajnath Singh and state incharge J P Nadda.
“The people of Maharashtra had voted for the BJP because we contested the election as a team. I will ensure that we will work as a team for the state’s development. At this moment I am getting a sense of a huge responsibility than the happiness,” Fadnavis told Express after his election.
The firebrand leader became a bit emotional when he mentioned his father, the late Gangadharrao when asked whom he remembered first after it became clear that he will lead the state. “I was very young when he passed away. But whatever I am today is because of him. He shaped my life,” the CM-designate said.
Fadnavis will be the state’s second youngest CM after Sharad Pawar, who had made it to the top job at the age of 38. According to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, Fadnavis’ image, nature and style of functioning made him the most suitable candidate for the post.
A senior BJP leader said that Modi liked Fadnavis’ style of functioning and it was another reason why he was chosen for the top job.
Fadnavis’ banker wife Amruta and mother Sarita too were delighted at his “achievement”. His supporters burst crackers outside his Nagpur home. “He worked really hard and now that is paying off. I am very happy. He has been patient, maintained a clean image plus he has a visionary approach,” Amruta reacted on her husband’s elevation.