As Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday, November 28, the swearing-in ceremony was held at Mumbai's Shivaji Park. Uddhav is the first from the Thackeray family to sit on the throne of Maharashtra's chief minister.
Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi announced a "secular, all-inclusive" Common Minimum Programme as it prepared to form the new Maharashtra government in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress on Thursday.
The preamble of the three parties' Common Minimum Programme states: "The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On contentious issues of national importance as well of state importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus."
Farmers, jobs top agenda
The CMP focuses on hugely on the burning issues of the farmers, unemployment problems, minorities, downtrodden sections, urban roads and housing, girls and women's issues, besides problems plaguing the industry, health sector and other fields for the overall public benefit in the state.
Spelling cheers for Mumbaikars, the MVA government said it will provide homes of 500 square feet free of cost to slumdwellers instead of 300 square feet in Mumbai as well as across Maharashtra, under the Slum Rehabilitation Programme, with best infrastructure and basic facilities.
The CMP also promises wholesome meals for only Rs 10 for common citizens, which was part of the Sena's original election manifesto. To ensure proper implementation of the CMP, two committees - one within the state cabinet and another among the three alliance partners - will be formed for better coordination, they said.
Among the CMP's major highlights are: immediate loan waiver to farmers, prompt assistance to farmers suffering due to unseasonal rains and floods, revising the crop insurance scheme to ensure immediate compensation to farmers who have suffered crop losses, ensuring remunerative prices for farm produce and sustainable water supply schemes for the drought-hit regions.
To address unemployment, the MVA regime will take immediate steps to fill up all vacant posts in the government, enact a law to provide 80 per cent jobs to domiciled locals, and provide fellowships to educated unemployed youth.
For women, girls from economically weaker sections will be given free education, working women's hostels will be built in cities and district headquarters, increased honorarium and better service conditions for anganwadi sevikas/asha workers, strengthening women's Self Help Groups to empower them, while highest priority will be accorded to safety of women by the government.
The government will take steps to improve the standards of education, children of farmers and economically weaker sections will be given zero interest loans, the three leaders said.
Uddhav Thackeray invites PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with Maharashtra Chief Minister-designate Uddhav Thackeray and congratulated him. Uddhav Thackeray also invited him for the swearing-in ceremony. This was the first converation between Uddhav Thackeray and PM Modi after the two parties split following the Maharashtra Assembly election results.
Who all will attend the swearing-in ceremony?
Although Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh and invited them for Uddhav Thackeray's swearing-in as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to attend the event.
Aaditya Thackeray had a brief meeting with Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence. The Congress tweeted a photo of the two leaders from its official Twitter handle. However, Sonia Gandhi might not attend the ceremony.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and DMK leader MK Stalin have also been invited for Uddhav Thackeray's swearing-in. Kejriwal has said that he will not be attending the event due to prior engagements.