I am a ‘sevak’ my govt committed to all-round development of Maharashtra: Eknath Shinde

Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra, said on Wednesday that he was a “Sevak” and that his administration was dedicated to the welfare of its residents and the state’s overall growth.

The choices being made today for the welfare of the people, according to Mr. Shinde, should have been made two and a half years ago, but since that did not occur, 50 MLAs had to band together and take a position.

He alluded to Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s decision on Tuesday that his party will endorse Droupadi Murmu of the National Democratic Alliance for President.

On the occasion of Guru Purnima, Mr. Shinde spoke with the media at the city’s Anand Ashram after paying respect to late Shiv Sena leader and mentor Anand Dighe.

The chief minister said, “Pawar is a major leader. He has stated that he wants the Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress to run in the next elections as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). With the current coalition (with the BJP), the 50 MLAs in my camp and I are all working for the development of the state. Therefore, we don’t wish to engage in politics. My administration is concerned with making the state’s residents’ lives better. The populace need to recognize it as their government. I am a “Sevak” and will continue to be one until the end. By adhering to their values, I shall follow the example set by late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe,” he said.

Shinde said that the Shiv Sena MPs wanted Mr. Thackeray to announce his party’s support for Murmu. “Even we, the 50 (rebel) MLAs, have already affirmed that Murmu has our support. Everyone at all levels appreciates the assistance offered to Murmu from all directions. Even the support that Uddhav Thackeray provided for her was warmly received, he continued.

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“The choices being made today for the benefit of the people ought to have been made two and a half years ago. The 50 MLAs were forced to get together and establish a position since they failed to do so. We have already made this choice, he replied.

Mr. Shinde referred to the uprising he spearheaded inside the Shiv Sena last month. The MVA administration led by Uddhav Thackeray was toppled due to the majority of Sena MLAs siding with him. A day after Thackeray resigned as chief minister on June 29, Shinde was appointed to the position.

“Across the state, there has been a resoundingly positive reaction to the position expressed by the 50 MLAs. I received a thunderous welcome even on a recent trip to Pandharpur, where 10 lakh people had assembled to celebrate Ashadhi Ekadashi. They showed me affection, and I was able to roam freely among them, he continued.

He said the party’s office holders, corporators, and other members support the rebel camp’s stance.

He said, “Sena corporators from Ulhasnagar still back us now, and the scenario is the same in Nashik, Ahmednagar, etc.”

He acknowledged that the expansion of his cabinet would take place after July 18, but he declined to provide further details.

Sanjay Raut, a Shiv Sena MP, claimed that his party’s support for Murmu does not equate to support for the BJP. Mr. Shinde avoided responding directly to this question by claiming that his faction’s spokesperson, Deepak Kesarkar, had traveled to Delhi for a meeting of the parties called by the NDA over the presidential elections.