Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said his elevation to the top post is due to the masterstroke by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.

“People thought that the BJP was desperate for power. But truly, this is a masterstroke by Devendra ji. To hand over power to another person despite having larger numbers (of MLAs) requires a big heart. With his decision, people of the State and the country got to see a new example of this large heartedness,” Shinde said after he and Fadnavis were sworn in as CM and Deputy CM respectively at Raj Bhavan Thursday evening.

“The party with the most numbers has the claim to the chief minister’s post. But in this case, I would like to thank PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, J P Nadda and specially Devendra Fadnavis, who showed a big heart and gave this chance to a Shiv Sainik,” Shinde told a TV channel.

Shinde said the previous stint of Fadnavis as chief minister will come in handy as he leads the state. “Fadnavis joined this ministry due to the directives of his (party) seniors. I am happy for this because his experience will come in handy in speeding up developmental works in the state,” Shinde said.