Fadnavis, with 9 others, takes oath as Maha CM

  • Atal’s dream comes true
  • Lotus blooms on the seafront
  • New CM promises efficiency, transparency
  • Marathwada, Vidharbha wait for growth
  • Pankaja Munde takes oath as Cabinet Minister

(K Kaushik)

Mumbai, October 31: What the BJP icon Atal Behari Vajpayee dreamt 34 years ago has come true on Friday when Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the 27th chief minister of Maharashtra. Vajpayee in 1980 had said his dream was to see the lotus (BJP symbol) bloom on the seafront. It happened in the presence of about 40,000 people and top BJP leaders of the country who watched Fadnavis along with nine others take oath as ministers.

fadnavis final

Although the Man Friday was Fadnavis, the centre of attraction was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who travelled from Delhi to be present in the ceremony. BJP national president Amit Shah, members of the Margdarshak Mandal Lal Krishna Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi along with Union Ministers  Venkaiah Naidu,  Ravishankar Prasad, Prakash Javdekar, Radhamanohar Singh, Chief Ministers Anandini Ben Patel, Manohar Parrikar, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Raman Singh of Gujarat, Goa, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh respectively, were also present. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal were  among the guests  who watched the glittering ceremony. Maratha leader Sharad Pawar, chief of NCP, and former Chief minister Prithvi Raj chavan were among those who were witness to the proceedings. Though Fadnavis is the 27th chief minister he is the 18th person to hold the post and the fourth from the backward Vidarbha. He is second Brahmin after Joshi to take oath as chief minister of Maharashtra.

Fadnavis-modi

Fadnavis took oath of office administered by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. He was accompanied by senior BJP leaders Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Gopinath Munde as cabinet ministers. All of them were part of the BJP core team that worked hard in the elections under the leadership of Fadnavis. Prakash Mehta, Vishnu Sawra and Chandrakant Patil were the other cabinet minister to be sworn in. There were two Ministers of State in Dilip Kamble and Vidya Thakur. All the ministers are from the BJP. It is the first BJP government in Maharashtra. When Pankaja Munde took the oath the audience cheered her enthusiastically. Whenever Pankaja uttered her father’s name as part of her name as Pankaja ‘Gopinath’ Munde, the crowd broke in to loud cheers. Gopinath Munde died in a car accident in Delhi when he was going to airport to come to Mumbai soon after taking oath as Union Minister. People of Parli constituency gave a massive mandate to Pankaja out of their love for Munde. Pankaja is niece of Pramod Mahajan, another popular leader of the BJP, who passed away a few years back.

uddhav-modiShiv Sena chief Uddhav Thakeray who dreamed of being sworn in as chief minister after the elections was sitting among the dignitary in a reflective mood. He demanded in the negotiations with the BJP before the nominations that he should be the sole chief minister candidate and Shiv Sena would be allowed to contest more than 160 out of 288 seats. The proposal was rejected by the BJP and what happened was the recent history. BJP won more seats than it offered to contest, as Amit Shah put it after the results were declared. Shiv Sena was shown its place and the sulking Uddhav was made to rub his nose in the earth. Two days after announcing Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister-designate, Amit Shah had called Uddhav to invite him for the swearing-in ceremony. Uddhav who was so upset with the bizarre developments that he asked the leaders of his party to boycott the ceremony had persuaded himself to attend the show and sat on the side of Amit Shah. Amit and Uddhav had a brief discussion in Wankhede stadium where the swearing-in was held.

Soon after taking oath, Fadnavis arrived at Mantralay and told media persons that efficiency and transparency would be the hallmarks of his tenure as chief minister. “Right to service is one of my key objectives”, Fadnavis said. He promised to form Citizens Charter very soon. Vidarbha and Marathwada are waiting for good initiatives from the new government which would help in developing the regions. The 44 year-old Chief Minister would be facing huge challenge in meeting the high expectations of the people. The second youngest chief minister, the first being Sharad Pawar who became CM at 38, is known to be resourceful and he would be having full support from the centre to be able to rise to the occasion.

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