MUMBAI: In a historic event, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis on Friday took oath as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister amidst a huge applause by around 40,000 spectators at the city’s landmark Wankhede Stadium.
The colourful swearing-in ceremony had a shadow of political uncertainty till an hour ago when it began late in the afternoon.
However, the sombre mood turned into a jubilant one when Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who had announced a boycott, arrived at the venue along with wife Rashmi.
He was given a seat in the front row of the invitees where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP stalwart L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari were seated.
BJP president Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Fadnavis telephoned Uddhav and convinced him to attend the function.
Soon after the ceremony, Uddhav held discussion with Shah for half an hour in one of the rooms at the stadium. A source said they discussed the possibilities of the Sena joining the government. “The Sena has demanded 12 berths in the Cabinet. Now, the BJP has to take a decision whether to accept its demand,” the source said.
Uddhav said things were going good so far. “We are not meeting again soon. Will let you know if anything happens,” he said.
Sena leader Manohar Joshi said they had missed the bus to have cordial relations with the BJP. “We have missed the bus because of some people,” he said.
Fadnavis has inducted seven ministers and two Ministers of State (MoS) in his Cabinet. His team’s simplicity broke the state’s tradition of displaying designer attires while taking oath.
A simple Fadnavis appeared in his trademark blue jacket and white shirt with folded sleeves. No minister wore bandh gala suits like their predecessors. Governor Vidyasagar Rao administered them oath of office.
Fadnavis became the third CM of Maharashtra who was never in power before he occupied the chair.