Nation Current Affairs 29 Nov 2019 Uddhav Thackeray swo ...

Uddhav Thackeray sworn in as CM of new ‘secular govt’ in Maharashtra

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | BHAGWAN PARAB
Published Nov 29, 2019, 12:43 am IST
Updated Nov 29, 2019, 12:49 am IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray waves to supporters in Mumbai on Thursday. (Photo: AP)
 Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray waves to supporters in Mumbai on Thursday. (Photo: AP)

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was on Friday sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra amid a galaxy of national political dignitaries and business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and his family as half a lakh people looked on at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. He took oath as the Chief Minister of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which also declared its common minimum programm (CMP) stating that the alliance will “uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution”.

Fireworks were set off as the proceedings began as Sena supporters raised slogans and clicked pictures, joyous at the sight of one of their partymen occupying the top post after 20 years.

Soon after his swearing-in, Mr Thackeray express-ed his gratitude by bowing before the masses, a mannerism of his father and party founder, Balasaheb Thackeray, drawing a round of rapturous applause.

Clad in dark saffron kurta, Mr Thackeray decl-ared that even though he was allied with the Nati-onalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, he would keep his Hindutva agenda close to his heart.

The Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and Subhash Des-ai, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut took the oath as ministers.

Mr Thackeray, 59, took oath as the 18th Chief Minister, paying tribute to 17 century Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and remembering his parents.

His wife Rashmi and sons Aaditya, who is an MLA, and Tejas were also present.

Thackeray became the third Sena leader after Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane to occupy the top post.

It was a show of strength for all three parties comprising the MVA government with hordes of supporters flocking Shivaji Park since the afternoon.

The set for the event was a fort-like structure measuring 6,000 sq ft, designed by renowned artist Nitin Desai.

Among the dignitaries, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and DMK leader M.K. Stalin were the most prominent.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar — who was instrumental in bringing together the Sena, NCP and Congress to form the government — was also present along with his nephew, former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and daughter MP Supriya Sule.

Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge were also present.

Former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, who resigned on Tuesday, three days after being sworn in as chief minister, was also present at the event as were three other former chief ministers — Joshi and Congress’ Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan.

Interestingly, the biggest round of applause from the spectators was reserved for Thackeray’s estranged cousin, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, and Ajit Pawar, who had rebelled in his party to form a short-lived government with the BJP.

After the ceremony, Thackeray headed to the famous Siddhivinayak temple where he along with Rashmi and Aaditya offered prayers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate Thackeray on taking oath as chief minister, saying he was confident that the Shiv Sena chief would work diligently for the bright future of the state. “Congratulations to Uddhav Thackeray Ji on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. I am confident he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra,” he tweeted.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who did not make it to the event, said in a congratulatory letter to Thackeray that the country was facing “unprecedented threats” from the BJP.

“The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have come together under quite extraordinary circumstances at a time when the country faces unprecedented threats from the BJP,” Gandhi’s letter said. “I wish you all the very best as you embark on a new innings in your life,” she added.

Uddhav Thackeray later said that his government will ensure concrete assistance to the state’s farmers and will work towards creating an atmosphere in which none feels terrorised.

Thackeray chaired the first meeting of his cabinet at Sahyadri Guest House in south Mumbai.

He said the first decision of the cabinet was to approve `20 crore fund for conserving Raigad Fort, which was the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

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