Published On : Fri, Mar 17th, 2017

Devendra Fadnavis rules out taking over as Defence Minister, adds he will abide by PM Modi’s decision

Mumbai/Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday ruled out going to Delhi to take over as a Union Minister. Speaking to Rajdeep Sardesai at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai, Fadnavis said that he has no plans of going to Delhi. On a question asked by Sardesai on whether he is going from Mumbai to Delhi, Fadnavis smiled and said, “You have moved the India Today Conclave from Delhi to Mumbai for the first time, and you’re asking me about going to Delhi. Why will I?”

However, Fadnavis also added that the ultimate decision maker is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We will abide by whatever honourable Prime Minister decides for us,” Fadnavis said while speaking at the conclave.
Earlier, there were reports that Devendra Fadnavis may take charge of the Defence Ministry and that Chandrakant Patil may take over as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Reports had emerged after Manohar Parrikar was sent to Goa to take charge as the Chief Minister and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given additional charge of Defence. A report in Maharashtra Times, which has now been taken down, had said that Devendra Fadnavis may get promoted to the Centre and the state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil could replace him as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

However, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, too, had refuted the report. “Media speculates and gets the joy of writing various things. However, there is no decision that has been taken in Delhi on this,” he said, according to news agency. “There has been no discussion (on this matter) yet. The biggest question before the parliamentary board and the Prime Minister is deciding on the CMs for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” Gadkari said.

“The Devendra Fadnavis government is stable and under his leadership, Maharashtra is progressing. He has proved his strength in the recent (local bodies) polls, held under his leadership,” Gadkari had added.
Meanwhile, reports have also emerged saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reshuffle his Cabinet after April 12. It is likely that a new defence minister would soon be inducted once Parliament session gets over on April 12. All eyes are now on who will take over as the Defence Minister even as guesswork is on.