Uddhav Thackeray takes oath, first Thackeray to be the CM
On Thursday, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Bal Thackeray, 59, was sworn-in as the 19th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. The oath was administered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. He is set to lead the new government formed through a three-party alliance, between Sena, Congress, and the NCP. With this, he has become the first Thackeray to hold the top position.
Following Thackeray's oath-taking, Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai were sworn-in as ministers in the Maharashtra Cabinet. Post that, NCP leaders Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal took oath as cabinet ministers. This was followed by oath-taking of Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut.
Notably, Thackeray-fronted three-party alliance staked claim to form the government after the BJP government ruled by Devendra Fadnavis (with NCP's rebel leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy), fell after merely 80 hours of formation. The BJP-Pawar government lacked numbers, which prompted both Fadnavis and Pawar to resign from the top posts. Meanwhile, 162 MLAs-strong Sena-Congress-NCP (Maha Vikas Aghadi) picked Thackeray as its leader.
Apart from top Sena, Congress, and NCP leaders, former CM of Maharashtra Fadnavis, was also present at the oath-taking ceremony. Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi congratulated Thackeray on taking oath.
As far as the power-sharing arrangements are concerned, the new Maharashtra government will have one Deputy Chief Minister from the NCP, while the post of Speaker will go to the Congress Party, NCP's Praful Patel announced on Wednesday. Further, the Sena and NCP will get 15 ministerial berths each, whereas the smaller partner Congress will grab 13 ministerial berths.
Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, the Maha Vikas Aghadi launched its Common Minimum Program, focusing on several issues such as farm waiver, women's safety, urban development, among others. The government has promised to grant immediate loan waiver to farmers, and assistance to farmers suffering from premature floods/rains. The government is also planning to offer 80% reservation in jobs for youth with state domicile.
Interestingly, it took Maharashtra over a month to get a CM. To recall, the pre-poll alliance of BJP-Sena earned a clear majority in the elections, but the partnership fell apart due to tussle over power-sharing arrangements. Since no party staked claim to form government, President's rule was imposed in the state, before Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government formed and failed, in a matter of days.