‘Our numbers were less (than BJP's) but PM Narendra Modi blessed us. Modi Saheb told me before the swearing-in that he will extend all possible help to me. Amit Shah Saheb said he will stand behind us like a rock,’ Shinde said. ‘But the biggest kalakar (artist) is this one,’ Shinde said, pointing to Fadnavis sitting to his right on the treasury benches.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday revealed that the last month's state legislative council polls came as the last trigger for him to rebel against the Shiv Sena even as he hailed Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis as the real "kalakar" (artist) behind the formation of the new government.
"On the day of the (results of) the legislative council elections (June 20) and the way I was treated.... I had decided that there will be no turning back," he told the legislative assembly after winning the trust vote.
In the council polls, the BJP had won all the five seats it contested, while the Congress's Chandrakant Handore lost.
Days earlier, the Shiv Sena's second nominee had lost to the BJP's third candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls from Maharashtra.
Apparently referring to how he sneaked out of Mumbai, Shinde said there was nakabandi (security blockade) by the police.
"I know how to locate mobile phone towers and track a person. I also know how to evade nakabandi," he added.
Offering a glimpse into the activities that unfolded behind curtains ahead of the formation of the new government, Shinde recalled that he used to leave the hotel where he was camping (in Guwahati) at midnight when all MLAs are asleep and used to return early morning.
"The true kalakar (artist) of this government is Devendra Fadnavis," Shinde added.
After leaving Mumbai, probably on the night of June 20, the Shinde camp moved to a hotel in Surat before moving to Guwahati on a chartered flight.
On June 29, the breakaway MLAs flew to Goa before returning to Mumbai on July 2.
Last Thursday, Shinde took oath as the chief minister with Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
With his comments, Shinde made it public that the BJP was an active participant in his recent ”uprising” against the Shiv Sena leadership.
Shinde's remarks in the state assembly, after he won the floor test in the House, left no one in doubt that Fadnavis, now the deputy CM, was actively involved in the Shinde-led group's activities.
As his group MLAs* were camping at a luxury hotel on Guwahati late last month, there were reports that Shinde had held a secret meeting with Fadnavis after reaching Gujarat from Guwahati. The reports claimed that before dawn, Shinde came back to the Guwahati hotel, where he was camping with 40 MLAs who turned against the MVA government in Maharashtra.
”Our numbers were less (than BJP's) but PM Narendra Modi blessed us. Modi Saheb told me before the swearing-in that he will extend all possible help to me. Amit Shah Saheb said he will stand behind us like a rock,” Shinde said.
”But the biggest kalakar (artist) is this one,” Shinde said, pointing to Fadnavis sitting to his right on the treasury benches.
“We used to meet while my group MLAs were asleep and return (to Guwahati) before they woke up,” Shinde said.
“The one who orchestrated everything is here,” Shinde said, pointing to Fadnavis, who was visibly embarrassed to see the not so well-kept secret of their parleys come out in the open.
“One doesn't know what he will do and when,” Shinde said.
Putting an end to the over a week-long political turmoil in Maharashtra, Shinde took oath as chief minister of the state on June 30. Fadnavis, after initial reluctance, took oath as deputy chief minister.