Celebrations began in the BJP camp on Wednesday evening as Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray stepped down from the Chief Minister’s post. BJP leaders were seen distributing sweets, shouting slogans at Mumbai’s Taj hotel. At the centre of it all was Devendra Fadnavis, who met the Governor last evening and set off the end game.

Confident of proving a majority during the floor test that is all set to be held in the Maharashtra Assembly on Thursday, June 30, the BJP is likely to make Devendra Fadnavis the chief minister of the state. 

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Meanwhile, rebel leader Eknath Shinde and his MLAs are likely to extend support to BJP’s Fadnavis during the floor test. If BJP manages to win the test, Fadnavis will take the oath alone. 

It is reported that the second swearing-in will take place after the BJP executive holds a meeting in which Eknath Shinde will take oath as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. BJP and Shinde faction ministers are likely to be sworn in on the same day.

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On Wednesday, Thackeray stepped down from the top post, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that his government has to take a floor test at 11 am on Thursday as ordered by the Governor. The Team Thackeray, reduced to just about 15 MLAs, had asked the court to stop the floor test called tomorrow.

The speculation was fed in part by the cabinet meeting held this evening where the government renamed three cities and Thackeray formally thanked the ministers for their cooperation.

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“I am resigning as the Chief Minister. I don’t want a hand in the blood of Shiv Sainiks that may be spilled tomorrow,” Thackeray said in his Facebook live address this evening where he announced his resignation.

“Those whom we promoted and built up, they are the ones who have betrayed us,” he added in a direct hit at the rebels.