Opponents, not allies picked me for CM post: Uddhav Thackeray
Tuesday marked the beginning of a new chapter in Maharashtra politics, as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress leaders proposed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s name as the chief ministerial candidate of the newly-formed Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi – an alliance of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
In an unprecedented scene, Thackeray thanked NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for supporting his bid for chief ministership, the two personalities he slammed the most in each of his public rallies till recently. The 59-year-old Sena chief, who is expected to take oath at Shivaji Park, Dadar on November 28, will be the first from the Thackeray family to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.
“I accept the responsibility given by all of you. I’m not alone, but you all are the CM with me. What has happened today is democracy in the true sense. Together, we will wipe off tears of farmers in the state,” Thackeray said, in his brief speech.
State NCP chief Jayant Patil proposed Thackeray’s name for the post, which was seconded by senior Congress legislator Balasaheb Thorat.
Thackeray also took the opportunity to criticise his former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
He said that decades-old allies did not trust him, while opponents for decades trusted his leadership.
He said after the formation of the government, he would to go Delhi to meet the “elder brother”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to Thackeray as his “younger brother” in
public rallies ahead of the election.
The Sena boss added that he “never dreamt” of leading the state and said they are “giving a new direction” to the country” by keeping faith in each other. Thackeray also thanked Congress’s interim president Sonia Gandhi for her party’s support. He also sought blessings and guidance from NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was present at the joint meeting.
Giving the role of the chief minister to Thackeray was one of the conditions of the NCP chief, party insiders said.
Pawar’s stress was with the idea that Thackeray’s seniority would act as glue for the new alliance in Maharashtra. On his part, Thackeray was reluctant to take up the 24x7 job, but gave nod with an aim to keep the power within the Thackeray household.
After Thackeray was unanimously selected the alliance chief, a delegation under legislative party leaders, Balasaheb Thorat, Eknath Shinde and Jayant Patil, went to Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the government.
Addressing the joint meeting of Sena, Congress and NCP MLAs, Pawar remembered Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
“It would have been great had Balasaheb Thackeray been alive today. We shared great love. We criticised each other a lot, but we never let go off the personal warmth,” he said.
Explaining why Uddhav was chosen, Pawar said: “We wanted someone who will do justice to all regions of Maharashtra and establish its premier position. When we sat down to discuss, we reached the conclusion that Uddhav was the right man for the job,” said Pawar.
In a jibe at the BJP, Thackeray said his government will not work with “vengeance”. Thackeray said that Fadnavis’s statements on Tuesday that there was no decision on sharing the CM’s post “pained”
“Those who came to Matoshree spoke lies outside. Is it keeping Matoshree’s (Thackeray’s residence) respect? I will not support lies and the lies are not part of my Hindutva,” he said.
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- Patil told Hindustan Times, "The regulations curtail freedom of expression."