Nagpur: Amidst the political impasse between BJP and Shiv Sena over lending support to the former for government formation in Maharashtra, the choice of Chief Minister appears evident. As the BJP’s heavy weight and Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari turned down the proposal to lead Maharashtra as the Chief Minister, all eyes are trained once again on the original choice of CM – BJP State President Devendra Fadnavis who recently made a mark with thumping win from South West Nagpur Assembly constituency.
Like Gadkari, Fadnavis too has the blessings of RSS headquartered here. Insiders say that since Fadnavis already finds favor from Modi, it appears certain that Fadnavis is going to be the next CM of Maharashtra.
Gadkari has already made his stand clear that he would not switch position. While in Nagpur on Tuesday he said, “I’m happy in Delhi. We will take a decision about the leadership (in Maharashtra) in the next few days. All I can say now is that I’ll play whatever role I am given.”
Both Gadkari and Fadnavis are Brahmins. It’s not hard to see why a veteran might feel upstaged, said sources.
In elections held last week in Maharashtra, the BJP won the most seats but does not have an outright majority. The Shiv Sena came in second, but lost all bargaining power when Sharad Pawar’s NCP made a public offer of “unconditional” external support to a BJP government.
As the BJP weighs its options, the process of picking the state’s next chief minister has got delayed. A meeting of the party’s newly-elected legislators on Monday to choose their leader was turned into a party celebration, as central leaders Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda cancelled their visit to observe the process.