“This is govt for all people,”Says CM Uddhav Thackeray
MUMBAI : Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Thursday assured the people of good governance in the state. “I want to help the farmers in a manner which will make them happy,” he said after chairing the first cabinet meeting of newly-sworn MLAs of the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine.
Uddhav, 59, is the 19th chief minister of the state and third from the Shiv Sena. The youngest of Bal Thackeray’s three children, Uddhav was an unlikely candidate to helm the Shiv Sena. Though he has organizational experience, he has not held any official position so far and may face challenge from the stalwarts of the Congress and NCP in the government’s functioning.
Among those present at his oath-taking ceremony were DMK Chief MK Stalin, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Congress’ Ahmed Patel, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Senior Congress leaders Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi, however, chose to skip the event.
Earlier in the day, the Sena-Congress-NCP combine released their Common Minimum Program, with attention to farmers’ crisis, unemployment, and health and industry sectors in the state. The preamble of the CMP assures that the three-party coalition commits to “uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution.”
In the first cabinet meeting held today, Uddhav Thackeray has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for restoration of Raigad Fort of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Uddhav also reassured big decision to help farmers will be taken in next two days, adding that there is no ambience of fear or intimidation in governance.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray chaired the first cabinet meeting today and assured relief for farmers. “I want to assure the people of the state that we will give a good government. I want to help the farmers in a manner which will make them happy.”
Uddhav said his government will announce big decision to give relief to Maharashtra farmers in two days. The Common Minimum Program of the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine also promised immediate loan waiver to farmers. “This is govt for all people,” he said on claims by former CM Fadnavis that Vidarbha, Marathwada regions were ignored by the new govt.
Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Maharashtra’s new Chief Minister this evening at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai, where his father Bal Thackeray had addressed his first Dussehra rally to announce the birth of the Shiv Sena in 1966. Six more ministers were sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress alliance, or Maha Vikas Aghadi, formally took power.
Uddhav Thackeray, 59, in saffron silk kurta, had bowed before the “Shivrajyabhishek” or a statue depicting the crowning of Chhatrapati Shivaji before taking oath in Marathi. An array of political leaders and his family – wife Rashmi Thackeray and son Aaditya – were on a grand stage designed like a fort by Nitin Desai, an art director from Bollywood.
The Sena Chief invoked his parents in his oath and called himself “Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray”. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani and son Anant were on the stage. Also present was Raj Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray’s estranged cousin, invited by him personally last evening.
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, who quit two days ago after a huge controversy over the manner in which he took power, also attended the oath. So did the man who betrayed his party to help him — Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar. Ajit Pawar is tipped to be Deputy Chief Minister, this time to Uddhav Thackeray.
Mr Thackeray had yesterday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the oath ceremony. PM Modi didn’t attend but tweeted congratulations.
None of the Congress big three attended the function either, but they wrote to the Sena Chief. Aaditya Thackeray flew to Delhi to invite Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. Thousands of Sena workers attended the oath ceremony and ecstatically chanted slogans as they saw Uddhav raise his fists and then bow before them.
In last month’s Maharashtra election, the BJP and Shiv Sena contested the polls together and won 105 and 56 seats, enough for a majority. But the Shiv Sena refused to play second fiddle and demanded rotational chief ministership.
(Mumbai Bureau With Agency Inputs ).