The crisis that has engulfed the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government has forced Uddhav Thackeray to resign from the Chief Minister position in the Maharashtra assembly. The Shiv Sena honcho has had to contend with mass defections led by rebel leader and Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde. While the Shiv Sena is in turmoil, the one who stands to gain the most from this present fracas is ex-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. The BJP leader was on the verge of a second term in 2019 before an aggrieved Uddhav Thackeray allied with the Congress and NCP to wield a coalition that landed him the top seat in the state assembly. But after a BJP-engineered coup, the MVA is on its last legs.

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Fadnavis’ Malabar Hills residence has been a hotbed of activity since the Eknath Shinde-led faction defected en masse from the Shiv Sena. With a revolving door of party leaders, MLAs and independents flowing in and out of his house, the Congress alleges that the Fadnavis house is the de-facto ‘back-end office’ for the Shinde-led camp. Given the meticulous planning behind the entire episode, Fadnavis is potentially days away from becoming Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Born to a Brahmin family in Nagpur, Fadnavis has been politically active since the mid-1990s. During his university years, he was an active member of BJP’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). In 1992, he became a Corporator in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. Five years later, he became the youngest mayor of the NMC- and the second-youngest mayor in India- at only 27 years of age. Rising through the ranks of the BJP, he has been representing the right-wing nursery of Nagpur in Maharashtra’s Legislative Assembly since 1999.

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The 51-year-old’s crowning moment arrived in 2014 when he became the first BJP CM in Maharashtra. A second term now beckons for the dyed-in-the-wool Sanghi.