‘It’s a historic day’: Sena’s Sanjay Raut ahead of Uddhav Thackeray’s oath ceremony as Maharashtra CM
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday called the swearing-in of party chief Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra chief minister a ‘historic day’, ahead of the oath-taking ceremony in the evening.
The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai’s Dadar area at 6:40pm and preparations are in full swing for the event. Uddhav, the first Thackeray to become the chief minister of the state, will head the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), an alliance of Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena and Congress.
Raut said that prime minister Narendra Modi had called Thackeray to congratulated him and assured cooperation from the central government.
“PM Narendra Modi called chief minister-in-waiting Uddhav Thackeray and congratulated him. He also assured Uddhav Thackeray full cooperation from the Centre in take Maharashtra forward. We would want the prime minister to attend the ceremony,” Raut said.
The new government will have a deputy chief minister from Sharad Pawar’s NCP while the Congress will get the post of Assembly Speaker, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said on Wednesday after a joint meeting about the power-sharing formula between the three parties.
However, there are speculations over the role of Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar’s nephew, in the new government after the former returned to the party. Ajit Pawar delivered a shocker when he took the oath as deputy chief minister early Saturday alongside Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis, who was sworn in as chief minister by the state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Ajit had claimed that he had the backing of elected NCP legislators. But on Tuesday, he resigned from the post.
Senior NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil said the NCP chief will decide over whether Ajit would receive a cabinet berth. “This is Ajit Pawar’s ghar wapsi (homecoming). Now Pawar saheb will decide if he (Ajit Pawar) will get a cabinet berth,” he said after the party meeting held on Wednesday, which was attended by Ajit.
Sanjay Raut, however, dismissed reports that there were differences within the three-party alliance over the sharing of posts, Raut on Thursday said that there is no such dispute. He said that Congress will get the speaker post, while the NCP will get the deputy speaker’s post in the legislative Assembly. He added that if there are disputes between the alliance partners, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Thackeray and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel would resolve it.
He also said Thackeray becoming the CM was a ‘victory’ over BJP’s tactics of using government agencies to pressurise Shiv Sena and its new allies.
Amid reports that the Centre has expedited Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in the Adarsh Society scam, Raut questioned why the case was opened “suddenly”. He said, “As soon as they came to know that they are forming the government, the files were brought up. I have been saying that in the last month they have used such tactics. In an attempt that a government under Uddhav Thackeray does not form, they have used Rashtrapati Bhavan to Raj Bhavan, from CBI to ED against us. We have defeated all this and are forming the government. And this government will complete its full term.”
Raut added that Thackeray has already said that his government will not indulge in vendetta politics after he assumes office.