Uddhav Thackeray sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister; 6 Cabinet Ministers take oath
Cabinet meets to clear likely farm loan waiver.
Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray took oath as Maharashtra’s new Chief Minister on Thursday in front of a packed Shivaji Park, the iconic grounds where his father late Bal Thackeray was cremated.
Mr. Thackeray was sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with six Cabinet ministers — two each from the Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The Cabinet of Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal, and Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut, met soon after the ceremony at 8.30 p.m., minutes after Thackerays stopped at the iconic Siddhivinayak temple for thanksgiving.
The cabinet discussed a resolution calling for a special session of the Assembly to prove its majority. Sources in the government said the ministers also discussed possibilities of a farm loan waiver as its very first decision.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray greets Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after he was sworn in Maharashtra Chief Minister at Sivaji Park in Mumbai on November 28, 2019. | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe
With fireworks lighting up the evening sky and Marathi folk songs reverberating over 27 acres in the park in central park Mumbai, the 30-minute ceremony was attended by who’s who of the political, industrial and film world. The prominent national leaders who attended the event included DMK chief M.K. Stalin, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibbal, Abhishek Manu Sanghvi, and Ahmad Patel, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi congratulated Mr. Thackeray while staying away from the ceremony.
“The Sena, NCP and the Congress have come together under extraordinary circumstances, at a time when country faces unprecedented threats from the BJP. Our political atmosphere has become poisonous and the economy has collapsed. I wish you all the very best,”' Ms. Gandhi said in a letter to Mr. Thackeray.
The corporate world, too, was in full attendance led by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Raymond boss Gautam Singhania, and several other prominent developers, actors Milind Gunaji and Amol Kolhe.
The park in the heart of Marathi-belt Dadar was a sight to behold as people walked in by the hundreds to witness the swearing in of the new coalition, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), in the Dadar.
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil who attended the ceremony were were heckled by the crowd of Sena supporters.
Earlier, Mr. Thackeray arrived on stage to the sound of a tutari (Maharashtrian bugle). The ceremony was marked with folk songs and dances and fireworks, much in tune with the stage designed by noted art director Nitin Desai. The arena depicted traditional Marathi culture, the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji and his coronation.
After the official event, Mr. Thackeray waved and greeted the crowds. He was joined by his wife Rashmi, son Aaditya apart from the entire rank and file of Shiv Sena. Thousands of Sainiks in saffron caps, chanted the traditional Sena chants of “Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji” and “Kon aala re, kon aala? Shiv Senecha wagh aala! (who has come? the Tiger of the Sena has come)”. After the ceremony, people were seen clicking pictures on the stage as well. Jain monks present on the dais blessed the new Chief Minister.