The Shiv Sena said it "wholeheartedly welcomes" Devendra Fadnavis as the new chief minister-designate of Maharashtra, two days after the BJP anointed him on Thursday.
"We wholeheartedly welcome the new CM of Maharashtra… We are confident that with Narendra (Modi) in Delhi and Devendra (Fadnavis) in Maharashtra, nobody can prevent ‘achhe din’ (good days) from coming to Maharashtra," the Shiv Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ Thursday.
The Sena recalled how the party was closely acquainted with the 44-year-old Fadnavis since many years and that "there are no doubts that his feet would remain firmly planted on the ground".
The edit also said that although Fadnavis is the son of Vidarbha soil of eastern Maharashtra, he must work for the entire Maharashtra as a whole. "A Vidarbha leader will be heading the state once again and the entire state is proud of him."
"It will be Fadnavis’ responsibility to remove prejudices that ‘Vidarbha is a backward region’… Vidarbha is blessed with black gold (Kaala Sona) – coal. The coal kings are very influential in Maharashtra… A lobby of businessmen-traders wants to carve out Vidarbha from Maharashtra, but this would not be in the interest of the people," it advised Fadnavis.
Hinting that the Shiv Sena is keen to join the BJP’s first government in the state, the edit wondered whether the BJP would like to sully its image by taking the help of the corrupt Nationalist Congress Party.
"The mandate of the people is for change…by permanently burying the (former) Congress-NCP government. However, if the BJP wants to accept the NCP’s help in running the government, then this topic can end right now…," the edit said.
The welcome for Fadnavis in Thursday’s edit was the first official comment by the Shiv Sena since his election as the chief minister-designate Tuesday.
Fadnavis will be sworn in as the chief minister here Oct 31.
The party has also not yet made up its mind whether it will join the government or sit in the opposition, according to sources.
"So far, the BJP has not sent any proposal for seeking our support or joining the government… Support has to be sought, it can’t just be given… Depending on the next development, the party will take an appropriate decision," a Sena leader said Wednesday.
(With inputs from IANS)