The BJP legislature party met at the Vidhan Bhawan here on Tuesday and elected Devendra Fadnavis as its chief ministerial candidate, the first from the BJP in Maharashtra. Senior leader Eknath Khadse proposed the BJP state chief’s name which was seconded by Vinod Tawde in the presence of Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and party general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra J P Nadda.
The 121 newly elected BJP MLAs then trooped into the Vidhan Bhawan for a meeting of BJP legislature party. The swearing in at the Wankhede Stadium on October 31 is expected to be the grandest in the state’s history.
On Monday, the name of BJP state president Devendra Fadnavis emerged on top will most of the MLAs backing him. Despite the week-long power tussle, the party central leadership was adamant on seeing Fadnavis take over as CM.
Some other BJP leaders aspiring to be CM were learnt to be lobbying in Delhi and among MLAs in Maharashtra. Supporters of Eknath Khadse, leader of opposition in the dissolved Assembly, tried to project him as deserving of the chief minister’s post.
Fadnavis’s name is expected to be announced after 4pm. The central leadership will hold discussions with individuals to elicit their views on who should lead the party.
The swearing-in ceremony was postponed from October 30 to October 31 to make adjustments with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s schedule.
The party has invited chief ministers of all BJP-ruled states at Wankhede Stadium, which can accommodate 40,000 people. There will be who’s who from across the spectrum attending the swearing-in ceremony. Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, along with a team of party workers, oversaw preparations, including security measures and sending of invitations to prominent personalities.
Party sources said Bollywood stars, corporate czars, top politicians from across parties, musicians, singers, members from right wing organisations to common man from Vidarbha, Marathawada, North Maharashtra, Western Maharashtra and Konkan will be present. The party is inviting its estranged ally in the state, Shiv Sena.
Four stages are being constructed at the stadium for the event. Union ministers from Maharashtra, Prakash Javadekar, Nitin Gadkari and Raosaheb Danve will attend the function.