Maharashtra politics live | Top developments on November 28, 2019

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference with his Cabinet colleagues at the government Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai on November 28, 2019. | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini
The Hindu Net Desk 28 November 2019 10:19 IST
Updated: 29 November 2019 00:13 IST

Uddhav Thackeray sworn-in Maharashtra Chief Minister; 6 Cabinet Ministers take oath.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray took over as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, heading an unlikely alliance with the Congress and NCP.

The 59-year-old is the third Sena leader and first from the Thackeray family to occupy the post. His father Bal Thackeray wielded the remote control over the first Sena-BJP government during 1995-99 but never assumed a position in the government.

Mr. Thackeray is the eighth person to take oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister while not being a legislator.


Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai (both Shiv Sena), Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal (both NCP), Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut (both Congress) were sworn in as Ministers.

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Here are the updates



Fadnavis vacates residence

Former Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis vacates official residence Varsha within hours of Uddhav Thackeray taking oath as the new CM.

After congratulating Mr. Thackeray on Twitter, Mr. Fadnavis tweeted at 8.43 p.m. on Thursday, just an hour after the swearing-in, and criticised the coalition's common mininum programme.

He said, "Even though there are a lot of announcements in CMP, it is unfortunate that there is no mention of Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra, areas that have always stayed behind in development. Let's hope new government pays attention to this."




Uddhav briefs media after first Cabinet meeting

“This government will be the people's government. Nothing will be allowed that makes the common man feel terrorised,” Mr. Thackeray says at his first presser as Chief Minister.

“I am really happy that in the first ever meeting of the Cabinet, the first proposal that came to me was of the development of the Raigad fort, the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The restoration of Raigad fort is a Rs. 600-crore project out of which Rs. 20 crore has been spent and we have approved Rs. 20 crore more today.

“Crops were destroyed recently due to rains. I have asked the Chief Secretary to give a status of all the measures taken to help farmers. In two days, we will get all the information and we will act accordingly, and promptly.

“I have asked for the true picture, be it a white paper or in any other form. Because all that farmers have got so far are promises. Loan waivers were announced but never executed. We learned a lot while meeting them in the recent days.

“We don't want to start a market of announcements. We will take appropriate decisions regarding farmers at the right time.

“These were the two main issues discussed in the meeting.

“We want to make Maharashtra the No. 1 State and will be committed to taking steps necessary to get us there.”

When asked about “secularism” mentioned in the CMP, Mr. Thackeray retorts saying, “What does secular mean?”

He says, “This is just the beginning. I need all peoples support including you (the media) as representatives of the people.”


Swearing-in ceremony

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray takes oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He becomes the first Thackeray to be sworn-in as Chief Minister of the State.  He becomes the 18th Chief Minister of the State.


Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde takes oath after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Mr. Shinde is the floor leader of the party in the Assembly. He was the Minister of Public Health, Family Welfare under the BJP-Sena government.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray takes oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra at a ceremony in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on November 28, 2019. | Photo Credit: AP


Shiv Sena's Subhash Desai takes oath after Mr. Shinde. Mr. Desai was the Minister of Industries, Mining in the previous BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government.


NCP floor leader Jayant Patil takes oath next. Mr. Patil was the Finance Minister under the Congress-NCP coalition government.

NCP's Chhagan Bhujbal comes in next to take oath. Mr. Bhujpal was the PWD Minister under the Congress-NCP government.

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Congress' Balasaheb Thorat takes oath. He is the State chief of the Indian National Congress.

Congress' Nitin Raut takes oath. Mr. Raut is the chairman, Congress Scheduled Caste Department. He was also the former Minister of Maharashtra.

Watch | The rise of Uddhav Thackeray


Prominent leaders arrive at venue

The Sena Bhavan in Dadar is illuminated as party chief Uddhav Thackeray takes over as Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 28, 2019. | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choudhari


Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray.

Prominent national leaders start arriving at Shivaji Park for the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray. Among others are DMK chief MK Stalin, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, senior leaders of the INC Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Sanghvi, Ahmad Patel, MNS chief Raj Thackeray.

BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and Chandrakant Patil were also present for the swearing-in ceremony.



Sonia skips Uddhav's swearing-in, wishes him the very best


Congress Sonia Gandhi has written to Uddhav Thackeray, regretting her inability to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

"The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have come together under quite extraordinary circumstances at a time when country faces unprecedented threat from BJP. The political atmosphere has become poisonous ances and the economy has collapsed. Farmers are on distress.

"The Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have agreed to a common minimum programme and I am sure that all the three parties will strive to implement it letter and spirit.

“The people of Maharashtra expect the alliance to provide cohesive, purposeful, responsible, responsive and transparent administration and our collective effort will undoubtedly be to ensure that these expectations are fulfilled.

"I wish you personally all the very best as you embark on a new innings in your life.”

Former president Rahul Gandhi too has wished Mr. Thackeray well.



Confident Cong-NCP-Shiv Sena will give stable govt: Sonia

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed confidence that the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine will provide Maharashtra a stable and responsive government.

Ms. Gandhi made the remarks in a letter to MPCC chief Balasaheb Thorat, ahead of Thursday evening’s swearing in of the Uddhav Thackeray-led ministry.


“On the occasion of the swearing in ceremony I send you and all Congress party colleagues and workers my good wishes.

“I have every confidence that the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will work together in the spirit of cooperation to give people of Maharashtra a stable and responsive government that will uphold the Constitution and the value of democracy,” she wrote.


Agenda set for Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress

Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP released their common minimum programme (CMP) ahead of Uddhav Thackeray's swearing-in ceremony as Chief Minister.

The CMP consists of provisions for farmers, to abate unemployment, improve healthcare, education, tourism and a range of issues.

Shiv Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde said "Every MVA decision will be in accordance to the Indian constitution. Every decision will be equal for everyone, there will be no discrimination on the lines of caste, religion."

"Nobody will feel scared, nobody will be favoured. Working for the development of Maharashtra will be our agenda. Farmers are in distress, this common minimum programme has been created keeping farmers in mind," said Mr Shinde.

"Decisions like those concerning bullet train will be taken once government is in place. A decision will be taken in people's interest," said Mr Shinde when asked about Sena's opposition to the project.

NCP's Nawab Malik, Jayant Patil and Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde deflect questions on whether Sena will continue to demand Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar.  — Tanvi Deshpande


Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said six ministers will be taking oath on Thursday along with Shiv Sena president Udhhav Thackeray, who is all set to be the first Thackeray to become the Chief Minister.

"I'm not taking oath today, only two ministers from the NCP are going to be sworn in, these including Jayant Patil and Chhagan  Bhujbal. As many as six ministers will take oath, two each from the three alliance partners along with the chief minister from Shiv Sena," Mr. Pawar who returned to the Maha Vikas Aghadi, said.


Sena calls Sharad Pawar ‘margdarshak’

With Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray set to take oath as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, the party heaped praises on NCP chief Sharad Pawar and termed him ‘margdarshak’ (guide) of the new government in the State.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana acknowledged Sharad Pawar’s efforts in taking the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance forward.

“A strong and experienced ‘margdarshak’ like Sharad Pawar is with us. This government will not function with any deceitful intention against anyone,” the Sena said.

The Sena described the change in political dynamics as the “rise of a new sun” in Maharashtra. “The current mood of happiness in the state can be equated with the one the entire country had at the time of Independence on August 15, 1947,” the Marathi daily said.

Without naming the BJP, it said the Sena leader did not bow down to any pressure from the Centre.

“At a time when prominent leaders from across the country are kneeling before rulers in Delhi, Uddhav Thackeray did not bow down to such pressure tactics. He did not compromise with his pride and refused to join hands with people who ‘lied’ to him,” the Marathi publication said.


Maharashtra Governor acted in reprehensible manner: Sonia Gandhi

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that the Maharashtra Governor acted in "most reprehensible manner" on Sunday and there is no doubt that his actions were under directions of the Prime Minister and Home Minister.

Ms. Gandhi was speaking at the Congress Parliamentary Party meet.

"We are meeting in the backdrop of the most shameless attempt to subvert democracy. BJP's pre-poll alliance didn't hold because of it's arrogance and over confidence.  The Modi-Shah government is bankrupt of decency and is clueless on how to face the grave problems facing the country," she said.

Referring to the falling growth rate and economic downturn, Ms. Gandhi said that the divisive policies are an attempt to divert attention from these issues of livelihood.

"The economic crisis depending by the day. Growth is declining unemployment is growing and investment is not happening. There is worsening distress among farmers, traders, and small and medium businesses. To divert attention from day-to-day livelihood concerns, the Prime Minister and Home Minister are pursuing divisive policies," she said.

"These issues, like the one relating to to citizenship amendment, strike at the very foundation of the Constitution," she added.

"It is sheer hypocrisy on the part of Modi-Shah establishment to celebrate November 26th as the Constitution Day while subverting this document day in and day out. Three months ago, democracy was subverted when when Article 370 was erased under a blatantly false promise of a new beginning in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. but the ground reality is a completely different from the conjured up images by the Modi-Shah government," she said.

Former Chief Ministers, who were in the past allies of the BJP, MLAs, political workers, ordinary people who believes in the idea of India, who abided by the Constitution of India are under house arrest for months, she reminded.


Sena to get its CM on home turf today

All roads will lead to Shivaji Park on Thursday, when Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray will take oath as the next chief minister of Maharashtra, after being chosen the leader of the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Hectic activity was witnessed throughout the day at Shivaji Park, where a crowd of over 50,000 is expected to gather on Thursday evening. All three parties have arranged for buses to ferry supporters to the venue from various parts of the State, besides Mumbai.

Shivaji Park has a special significance for the Shiv Sena, as its founder the late Balasaheb Thackeray would address people at the ground every Dussehra, a tradition Uddhav Thackeray still continues. Balasaheb Thackeray was also cremated in a corner of Shivaji Park, which Sainiks revere as Shivteerth, a holy place.

Art director Nitin Desai is designing the podium for the ceremony, which will begin at 6.40 p.m.

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Cabinet expansion after trust vote, says Praful Patel

Two days after the failed rebellion to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a bid to form the government, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar returned, addressing party MLAs at a meeting here on Wednesday.

“I am with Sharad Pawar. I was always with him and the party. I have no complaint against anyone. Neither have I any ill will against anyone. There are no problems within the Pawar family,” said Mr. Ajit Pawar.

 On Tuesday night, Mr. Ajit Pawar had visited the house of his uncle and NCP president Sharad Pawar where both reportedly decided to let bygones be bygones.

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Sena sounds warning to BJP

Senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut on Wednesday slammed the BJP once again, and said nobody should be surprised if Sena’s surya-yaan lands in Delhi in the future. Mr. Raut held another press conference in Mumbai against the backdrop of the BJP criticising the Sena’s alliance with the Congress-NCP as desperate.

He said, “This decision is for the benefit of the country. The BJP could not force its CM upon Maharashtra despite aghori [dirty] practices. There is rage among the people and people have struck back.”

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Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train may be stopped in its tracks

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project could be the first casualty of the bitter regime change in Maharashtra, going by the Shiv Sena’s belligerent mood on Wednesday.

A day before party chief Uddhav Thackeray is sworn in as chief minister, Sena leaders came out all guns blazing against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship project. Sources said senior bureaucrats have “unofficially” been consulted by leaders of the Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on the fate of the project.

The project has already found a mention in the alliance’s common minimum programme, which proposes to divert the State’s share of the funds towards a universal farm loan waiver. But it is unclear how and when this would be done, party leaders said.

On Wednesday, two senior Sena members called the bullet train “unnecessary” and said farmers should be the first priority for the government. They said other big-ticket projects would also be reviewed: the Nanar refinery project will stay scrapped and no more trees will be cut in Aarey colony for Metro 3.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)