Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn as the Deputy Chief Minister on Thursday as the new coalition came to power after the ouster of the Uddhav Thackeray government.
"I will stay out of the government and ensure it runs smoothly," Mr Fadnavis said at a news briefing around 4:30 pm.
However, barely three hours later, he was seen taking oath as Mr Shinde's deputy after BJP chief JP Nadda said, he must be the Deputy Chief Minister and I will personally request him to take up the post.
Fadnavis has been the Maharashtra Chief Minister earlier, appear to have been persuaded by the party leadership to take up the deputy CM’s post.
Earlier during the day BJP strongman Devendra Fadnavis announced Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde would be sworn in as the Chief Minister at 7.30 pm after the two leaders met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.
The announcement came as a surprise as there were strong indications that the BJP would form the government with Fandavis as Chief Minister.
Eknath Shinde profusely thanked PM Modi and the “big-hearted “ Devendra Fadnavis for their support in making him the Chief Minister.
Shinde said, "Mr Fadnavis told me he is supporting Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sainiks. He showed his big heart, nobody does this…Someone who has 120 MLAs…Nobody lets go even the post of Panchayat or civic body chief. This is the Chief Minister's post," he said, with Mr Fadnavis by his side after the big unprecedented announcement. "I will not betray the faith Fadnavis has placed in me."
He also thanked Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP chief JP Nadda for trusting "Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sainiks."
Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the Chief Minister on Wednesday, minutes after the Supreme Court ruled that he must prove his majority on the floor of the House today. His support had been reduced to just 13 MLAs in the Shiv Sena.
The BJP is the single-largest party in the state assembly with 106 MLAs.
The Maharashtra BJP had tweeted a video clip of a speech in Marathi by Mr Fadnavis with the caption: "I will come again. For the creation of a new Maharashtra! Jai Maharashtra".
However, in a dramatic turn of events he then announced that rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde would be sorn in as the Chief Minister.