Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray Stakes Claim to Form Govt; Will Be Sworn in on Dec 1

Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray Stakes Claim to Form Govt; Will Be Sworn in on Dec 1

New Delhi: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday night reached Raj Bhavan in Mumbai and staked claim to form the government in Maharashtra.

He was accompanied by legislature party leaders of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress, a Sena leader said.

"We are submitting a joint statement of staking claim for government formation before the governor. We will also produce proof of the support of all the MLAs of the three parties to the governor as a part of the mandatory procedure," said the leader.

The move came after Thackeray was unanimously elected as chief of the 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA)' on Tuesday evening, paving the way to becoming the new chief minister of Maharashtra.

Thackeray's name was proposed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state president Jayant Patil and Congress state chief Balasaheb Thorat at a meeting in Mumbai of all the parties in the alliance.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party (SP) state president Abu Asim Azmi, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti, and other top leaders of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress were present at the meeting.

NCP leader Nawaz Malik said the swearing-in ceremony will be held at Shivaji Park in the state capital on December 1.

Thackeray on Tuesday evening remembered his late father, Bal Thackeray, and thanked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar for the trust reposed in him.

In his acceptance speech after being unanimously elected as the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' nominee for chief minister, Thackeray said he was overwhelmed by the honour and would strive to live up to the expectations of all the supporting parties and the people of Maharashtra.

"I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others. We are giving a new direction to country by keeping faith in each other," he says.

"This is an alliance of parties with divergent ideologies. This will give a new direction to the whole country. However, it should not be reduced to 'yours' or 'mine', but it should 'our' government. More important, the common man of the state should feel is 'my government' always," Thackeray said.

Thackeray said the MVA parties did not "bend" before anybody, did not indulge in falsehoods and lying is not his brand of "Hindutva", and now after the struggle of the past few weeks, he would concentrate on the task of administration before him.

Thackeray promised to lead an all-inclusive government which would work for the cause of the farmers, the poor, the downtrodden and marginalised sections of society and sought the cooperation of the allies in his endeavour.

Other leaders of different parties in the MVA also spoke and congratulated Thackeray on his election as the new chief minister and assured him of their full support in running the government.

Addressing the joint meeting, Pawar remembered Balasaheb 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.

(With inputs from agencies)