New Delhi: With just a few hours left for the grand oath-taking ceremony of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a dramatic turn of event on Wednesday night called the chief minister-designate and congratulated him on the phone.
On the other hand, Uddhav Thackeray also extended an invitation to PM Modi over the phone and urged him to attend the oath-taking ceremony on Thursday evening. This invitation on the phone was in addition to an earlier letter inviting PM Modi.
The development comes after Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that his party would like to invite PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the swearing-in ceremony.
At Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, the stage has already been set for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to take oath as chief minister of Maharashtra. For the mega event, a number of top political leaders cutting across party lines have been invited.
Guests invited for the event
The political leaders who have been invited for the mega event include Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and DMK president MK Stalin among others.
However, a late-night update stated that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal will not be able to attend the oath-taking ceremony because of their personal engagements.
As per another update, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has confirmed that he will attend the swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Aaditya Thackeray flew to the national capital to meet Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh. He also met them to extend a special invitation for the event. However, after meeting the duo, Aaditya said he had come to Delhi to meet both the leaders to seek their blessings ahead of his father’s oath-taking ceremony.
400 farmers to attend
With the objective to highlight the plights of farmers in the state, around 400 farmers from various districts have also been invited for Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony. The move from the alliance trio is being seen as a way forward to waive their farm loans.
Confirming the update, Sena leader Vinayak Raut said that 400 farmers have been invited and added it is being done to give due respect to these farmers.
As part of the security arrangement for the event, Mumbai Police said around 2,000 police personnel have been deployed at Shivaji Park for the swearing-in ceremony.
After holding a two-hour-long meeting of the Congress-NCP-Sena over the portfolio distribution, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ late on Wednesday night announced in a press conference that the coveted post of Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly will go to the Congress and Deputy Chief Minister’s post will go to Nationalist Congress Party.
Making the announcement, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said the post of Deputy Speaker will also go to the NCP. However, there will be only one post of Deputy CM in the new government.
Giving further information, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that the exact number of legislators who will take oath on Thursday will be decided later on Wednesday night.
On Tuesday night, Shiv Sena chief and the leader of ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ met Governor BS Koshyari and staked claim to form the government in Maharashtra, hours after BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar resigned from their respective posts as CM and Deputy CM.