INDIA: Udhhav to be sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday

Mumbai (IANS): Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray late on Tuesday staked his claim to form the government in Maharashtra before Governor B.S. Koshyari, party sources said.

The Governor has accepted the claim and announced that Thackeray will be sworn in as on 5 p.m. on November 28 (Thursday) at Shivaji Park.

A high-level delegation including NCP leader Praful Patel, NCP state chief Jayant Patil, Congress state President Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi and other leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi met the Governor and submitted a letter from Thackeray, support letters of all alliance partners, and other documents, to the Governor.

The development came hours after Thackeray’s unanimous election as the MVA leader Tuesday evening.

It is not clear whether Deputy Chief Ministers from the allies or other ministers would be sworn in or not along with Thackeray on Thursday, said Thorat.

THACKERAY on Tuesday evening remembered his late father Bal Thackeray and thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar for the trust reposed in him.

In his acceptance speech after he was unanimously elected as the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ nominee for Chief Minister, Thackeray said he was overwhelmed by the honour and would strive to live up to the expectations of all the supporting parties and the people of the state.

“This is an alliance of parties with divergent ideologies. This will give a new direction to the whole country. However, it should not be reduced to ‘yours’ or ‘mine’, but it should ‘our’ government. More important, the common man of the state should feel is ‘my government’ always,” he said to thunderous applause.

Spicing the speech with his brand of humour, Thackeray also extended an olive branch to former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and said: “I will soon go to meet ‘Mota Bhai’ in New Delhi” (referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi).

However, he rued how the BJP dumped its 30-year-old ally and virtually called him a “liar”, and them ejected him from the alliance and the NDA.

“We were not hungering for the post of CM… but, you had given a promise and you should have kept it. You had no faith in me, but the Opposition parties reposed their trust in me,” Thackeray asserted.

He said the MVA parties did not “bend” before anybody, did not indulge in falsehoods and lying is not his brand of “Hindutva”, and now after the struggle of the past few weeks, he would concentrate on the awesome task of administration before him.

Thackeray promised to lead an all-inclusive government which would work for the cause of the farmers, the poor, the downtrodden and marginalised sections of society and sought the cooperation of all the MVA parties in his endeavour.

Other leaders of different parties in the MVA also spoke and congratulated Thackeray on his election as the new CM and assured him of their full support in running the government.

Later, Thackeray, accompanied by other top leaders of the alliance left Raj Bhavan to stake his claim to form the government before Governor B. S. Koshyari.