In a glittering ceremony, lawyer-turned-politician Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the 27th chief minister of Maharashtra on Friday. State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao administered him oath of office and secrecy at the Wankhede Stadium packed with more than 35,000 people. Those who were sworn in as Cabinet ministers include Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta, Chandrakant Dada Patil, Pankaja Munde and Vishnu Sawra. Dilip Kamble and Vidya Thakur are ministers of state.
While Fadnavis, Khadse, Mungantiwar, Tawde and Munde are the party’s core committee members, Mehta was inducted to represent the powerful Gujarati community.
Chandrakant Dada Patil, who has been entrusted with the task of mending fences with the Shiv Sena by party President Amit Shah, comes from Kolhapur, where Shah's in-laws stay. Patil is credited with consolidating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s position in western Maharashtra, a stronghold of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
Sawra, hailing from Vikramgad in Thane, is a tribal, while Dilip Kamble has been elected from the Cantonment constituency (Scheduled Castes reserved) in Pune district.
Vidya Thakur, who defeated Shiv Sena strongman Subhash Desai in Goregaon constituency, could make it to represent the north Indians.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the centre of attraction at the venue. Besides him, senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman and Raosaheb Danve, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Anandiben Patel, Manohar Khattar, National Democratic Alliance chief ministers Parkash Singh Badal and Chandrababu Naidu were also present.
The Shiv Sena, which had given a call to boycott the event, took a U-turn. Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and Sena MP Vinayak Raut attended the ceremony.
Shiv Sena, which was insisting for the inclusion of at least two members in the cabinet, on Thursday had announced to skip today’s swearing-in. However, BJP president Amit Shah swung into action and telephoned Uddhav with an emotional appeal to Uddhav to be present.
While Uddhav was present, newly-elected Shiv Sena MLAs and othe rparty leaders skipped the oath-taking.
The corporate world was represented at the swearing-in by Aditya Birla Group CMD Kumar Mangalam Birla, Godrej chairman Adi Godrej, Reliance ADAG CMD Anil Ambani, Niranjan Hiranandani also attended the function.
Moreover, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Shivajirao Deshmukh, chairman, Maharashtra Legislative Council, Dilip Walse-Patil, speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, former Union minister Praful Patel, former deputy chief ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Ajit Pawar, NCP state chief Sunil Tatkare, former minister Jayant Patil were also present.
BJP leaders O P Mathur, Rajiv pratap Rudy, Vijay Kumar Goyal, Shyam Jaju also shared dias with senior party leaders.
Fadnavis swearing-in: A star studded affair