Uddhav Thackeray raj begins

Updated: Nov 29, 2019, 07:30 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Uddhav Thackeray sworn in as state's 19th chief minister in an elaborate gala, along with two ministers from each ally, the NCP and Congress

Uddhav Thackeray. All pictures/Rane Ashish
Uddhav Thackeray. All pictures/Rane Ashish

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday evening took oath as Maharashtra's 19th chief minister in a glitzy ceremony at Shivaji Park. Several thousand supporters thronged to Sena's karma bhoomi to witness the ceremony, which saw senior leaders from across parties, industrialists, and other regional leaders in attendance.

Uddhav became the first Thackeray to become CM; when his father led the Sena, Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane were made chief minister in 1995 and 1999. Thackeray's taking over of the reins comes at a time when his son has also got elected to the Assembly, marking a total plunge into direct control of power.

Rashmi Thackeray congratulates Udhhav Thackeray
Rashmi Thackeray congratulates Udhhav Thackeray

Six others – two from each ally – were sworn in. With doubts hanging over Ajit Pawar's status inside the NCP, his colleagues Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal – both with vast administrative experience – entered the cabinet. Both have about 20 years of experience of being in the ministerial offices.

For the Sena, legislative party leader Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai were sworn in. Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat and working president Dr Nitin Raut were the other ministers. Uddhav is expected to expand his cabinet before December 3.

Aaditya Thackeray greets his father Uddhav Thackeray after he took oath
Aaditya Thackeray greets his father Uddhav Thackeray after he took oath

Sources said there were certain minor issues to be sorted before the expansion, which needs to happen before the winter session of the legislature in Nagpur. While the Sena assigned two Marathas to the cabinet, the NCP sent a Maratha (Patil) and an OBC leader (Bhujbal). Congress sent a Maratha (Thorat) and a neo-Buddhist (Raut).

Those who took oath invoked a fascinating array of people. Uddhav mentioned his mother, father and Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj; Shinde took oath after mentioning Shivaji, Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe; Desai invoked Shivaji, Bal Thackeray, and Uddhav Thackeray.

Raj Thackeray's mother Kunda Thackeray congratulates Udhhav
Raj Thackeray's mother Kunda Thackeray congratulates Udhhav

While Jayant Patil mentioned NCP president Sharad Pawar, Bhujbal invoked Shahu Maharaj, Jyotiba Phule, Dr Ambedkar, Shivaji, Bal Thackeray and Sharad Pawar. Thorat invoked Sonia Gandhi, while Dr Raut mentioned Gautam Buddh, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Bhujbal and Raut ensured that their respective constituencies of OBCs and backward classes are pleased when they made specific references to the iconic social reformers and deities.

Many important political figures from other states attended the ceremony, which could be a precursor to a nationwide trend for regional powers to unite against the BJP. DMK chief MK Stalin and his colleague TR Baalu represented Tamil Nadu. Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, former Gujarat CM Shankar Singh Waghela, Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Mulik Wasnik, Mallikarju Kharge and Avinash Pande (all Congress) and Sharad Pawar with his pack of senior leaders were also in attendance.

Two Congress lawyers Kapil Sibbal and AM Singhvi, who represented the MVA in the Supreme Court to get a favourable verdict against the hush-hush swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, were greeted gratefully.

Most notable appearance by made by Uddhav's estranged cousin and MNS president Raj Thackeray. Raj mother Kunda who is also Uddhav's maternal aunt was seen hugging and blessing her nephew. Former CM Fadnavis and state BJP president Chandrakant Patil also found place on the crowded stage. Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta were seated in the front row.

Shiv Sena over the years

June 19, 1966: Political cartoonist Bal Thackeray forms Shiv Sena; party workers begin to target non-Maharashtrians, mainly south Indians

1967: Sena wins 17 out of 40 seats in Thane's civic polls

Dec 1967: Sainiks savagely attack CPI headquarters in Parel and almost destroy it. Both CPI and the CPI(M) activists are assaulted

1969: SS workers riot on Maharashtra-Karnataka Border, killing 59. Thackeray was arrested in the case

1970: Armed Sainiks murder sitting CPI MLA Krishna Desai

1974: Violent clash between Sainiks and Dalit Panthers

1975: Bal Thackeray supports Indira's call for Emergency

1980: Sena did not contest assembly polls, works for Cong

1982: Bal Thackeray declares Sena is breaking off with the Congress(I), propped up on the dais by Sharad Pawar and George Fernandes

1984: Sainiks instigate ghastly communal riots in Bhiwandi

1985: Sena wins Mumbai municipal corporation.

1989: Sena-BJP join hands

1992, 1993: The orchestrated massive riots in Mumbai after the Babri Masjid demolition, leaving 700 people dead

1995: Sena-BJP forms first saffron govt in Maharashtra

1999: Saffron alliance loses power in state

2003: Sainiks ransack railway recruitment office over non-Marathi's appearing for exam

2008: Shiv Sainiks and MNS workers attack north Indian students again over the railway recruitment exams

2005: Months after Uddhav's elevation, Narayan Rane expelled from Sena

2006: Cousin Raj Thackeray quits party and floats MNS

2007: Sena supports UPA candidate Pratibha Patil for President as she is Marathi

2010: Aaditya Thackeray forces Mumbai University to drop Rohinton Mistry's Such a Long Journey from its syllabus

2014: Amit Shah breaks alliance with Sena, but gets back to form govt in state

2019: Sena breaks away from BJP and joins with Cong-NCP

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