Thackeray to lead coalition govt in Maharashtra; swearing-in on 1 Dec

MUMBAI, Nov 26: The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance on Tuesday evening announced Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as their nominee for the Maharashtra chief minister’s post.
The swearing in will be held at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai on 1 December, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said.
Thackeray, who would be the first member of his family to occupy the top political post, said his government will not seek “revenge” against anyone.
“I will go to Delhi to meet my ‘elder brother’ after the government is formed,” Thackeray said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had called him “my younger brother” during campaign rallies.
The decision to elect Thackeray as the nominee for the CM’s post was taken at a joint meeting of the three parties at a suburban hotel here in Maharashtra, hours after the four-day-old BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis and supported by NCP’s Ajit Pawar collapsed.
Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil proposed Thackeray’s name as “the (next) chief minister.” State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat seconded the proposal.
The meeting was attended by Sharad Pawar, senior party leader Praful Patel, Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Swabhi-mani Shetkari Sanghatana’s Raju Shetti, Samajwadi Party’s Abu Azmi, and MLAs of all these parties and others.
Speaking at the meeting, Thackeray evoked memories of his father and late Shiv Sena founder, Bal Thackeray. He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“I want to thank Sonia ji also. Parties with different ideologies have come together… those who were friends for 30 years did not trust us. But those against whom we fought for 30 years have trusted me,” Thackeray said.
The common people should think of this government as their own, he said.
“The fight is not personal… my government will not work in a vindictive way,” Thackeray said.
Without naming former ally BJP, with whom the Sena had a bitter falling out after contesting the 21 October assembly elections together, Thackeray said he would not align with those who speak lies.
Sharad Pawar said Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony will take place at Shivaji Park on 1 December.
Speaking on the occasion, Pawar eulogized Bal Thackeray, his bitter adversary in politics but a dear friend in personal life.
The three parties have named their alliance Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi.
Earlier in the day, chief minister Fadnavis resigned, barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time, a move triggered by his deputy Ajit Pawar’s resignation, citing “personal reasons.”
Fadnavis was sworn in on 23 November in an early-morning hush-hush ceremony, with the support of Ajit Pawar, who then headed the 54-member NCP legislature party.
Ajit was not seen at the joint meeting of the three parties on Tuesday evening. (PTI)