The 44-year-old fourth term MLA from Nagpur South West seat, with RSS roots and strong backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah, will be only the second Brahmin Chief Minister of the state after estranged ally Shiv Sena's Manohar Joshi.
    
Surmounting competition from several members of the state BJP's Core Committee, who were vying for the post but were neutralised by the party's central leadership, Fadnavis was declared elected leader of the Legislature Party by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, observer for the election.
    
Accompanied by BJP General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, state Core Committee members Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde, besides allies RPI leader Ramdas Athawale and RSP's Mahadev Jankar, Fadnavis later called on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to stake claim to form the government.
    
"We gave the Governor a letter seeking opportunity for BJP to form government. The Governor has asked us to prove majority in 15 days after the swearing in on October 31," Fadnavis told reporters after meeting Rao.
    
BJP General Secretary in-charge of Maharashtra J P Nadda said the swearing-in ceremony will be held at 4 PM and that talks were still on with estranged former ally Shiv Sena over forming a coalition government.
    
Fadnavis' name for the leader of BJP Legislature Party was proposed by Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly Eknath Khadse and seconded by others who were in the race, including Khadse's counterpart in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawde, former state BJP Chief Sudhir Mungantiwar and Core Committee member Pankaja Munde Palve.
    
The resolution for his election was adopted unanimously, Rajnath Singh said after the meeting which lasted little over 20 minutes, preceded by a meeting of the state BJP's Core Committee.
    
Fadnavis and other leaders then drove down to Raj Bhavan to formally stake claim for form the government.
    
As decided by the party earlier, the Governor accepted the suggestion to swear in the new government on October 31.
    
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several of his Cabinet colleagues and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states will attend the historic ceremony at Wankhede Stadium, a well known venue for cricket matches.
    
"A small ministry will be sworn in on October 31," Nadda told reporters.
    
Shiv Sena, which had yesterday openly voiced its desire to join a coalition government with BJP, today said it will wait for the swearing-in of the new Chief Minister before taking a call on supporting the government.
    
It also trashed as "false" media reports that it had demanded the post of Deputy Chief Minister and key portfolios as pre-condition for support.
    
"A lot of false news is being spread in the media that we have demanded the post of Deputy Chief Minister or some specific portfolios in return for our support to BJP. I want the media to stop focusing on baseless rumours. We have not demanded anything yet," Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut told reporters after meeting party Chief Uddhav Thackeray.

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