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2 years ago

Davendra Fadnavis first BJP's CM of Maharashtra

All newly elected BJP MLAs voted unanimously for him at Vidhan Bhavan during a meeting attended by home minister Rajnath Singh and party general secretary JP Nadda on Tuesday.

Senior state leader Eknath Khadse, who was also believed to be in the race, proposed Fadnavis' name for the state's top job. Sudhir Munganttiwar, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde seconded the candidature.

The BJP approached governor C Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan at 6pm to stake claim to the government.

At 44, Fadnavis will be the second youngest Maharashtra chief minister - next only to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who was sworn in when he was 37 years old. Fadnavis will also be the first BJP CM in the politically crucial state.

Speaking in Marathi and Hindi as supporters went wild celebrating his elevation, Fadnavis credited the BJP's performance in the assembly polls to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and other colleagues.

"It will be a government of people… We will follow the path shown by Modiji," Fadnavis said after his selection.

"I thank the party for picking me, though there were other eligible people," he added.

Complications had cropped up after nearly BJP 40 legislators from the Vidarbha region - where the party won 44 seats in the assembly elections - openly backed Union minister Nitin Gadkari for the top job. Three MLAs even offered to quit in order to pave the way for Gadkari to get elected.

Amid the confusion, Gadkari met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday. There were indications the BJP's parent body had endorsed Fadnavis as CM.

According to RSS insiders, Bhagwat wanted Gadkari to remain at the Centre, and Fadnavis to take the reins of the state. The RSS chief is believed to have advised Fadnavis to take major decisions after consulting Gadkari.

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