was sworn in as the BJP’s first chief minister in Maharashtra on Friday but had to share some of the limelight with another man — Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who attended the ceremony after a last-minute phone call from BJP chief Amit Shah.
Fadnavis — the state’s 27th CM and its youngest at 44 — took the oath of office with a team of nine ministers at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. In attendance were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Shah, the CMs of BJP-ruled and friendly states and a crowd of 40,000-50,000, according to BJP estimates.
A significant development on the sidelines was the apparent thaw between squabbling ex-allies BJP and Shiv Sena. Thackeray — firm till Thursday night on boycotting the swearing-in over the BJP’s “constant humiliation” of his party — met Shah immediately after the ceremony, setting off talk of a patch-up and post-poll alliance.
Union minister Arun Jaitley and Fadnavis too had called up Thackeray earlier in the day to make him change his mind. The Sena chief came with wife Rashmi and party MP Vinayak Raut.
The Sena has 63 MLAs who can help the BJP — with 121 MLAs in the 288-strong assembly — prove majority without taking the support offered by other parties such as the Nationalist Congress Party.
The NCP showed Friday it was more than willing to help the BJP, with most of its senior leaders, barring boss Sharad Pawar, sharing the dais with their BJP counterparts.
The new chief minister swung into action almost immediately after assuming charge, saying his government would ensure transparency and bring in a law to ensure an effective service mechanism for the people. “People want their work done without any delay. We will bring in a law under which the government (officers and other staffers) would deliver service as quickly as possible,” Fadnavis said during his first media interaction after being sworn in as chief minister.
The CM said he would also review decisions taken by the former government, as it involved expenditure of more than Rs. 52,000 crore. “If we were to execute these schemes, we will need to raise loans to finance them. We will examine how feasible these decisions are,” he said.
Fadnavis — a four-time MLA from Nagpur and a lawyer and business management expert by training — said portfolio allocations would be made on Saturday. The CM wants to keep home and finance with himself. The assembly session is expected to be held between November 10 and 12 during which time the government will table the trust vote.
Council of ministers
Chief minister: Devendra Fadavis
Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Munganttiwar, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta, Chandrakant Patil, Pankaja Munde, Vishnu Savra
Ministers of state
Dilip Kamble, Vidya Thakur