Confirmed: Ajit Pawar not amongst six leaders taking oath today

Ajit Pawar

NCP leader Praful Patel confirmed that the deputy chief minister of the alliance will be from his party and the speaker from the Congress

Mumbai: After the long political drama in Maharashtra finally the swearing-in of ShivSena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the 18th chief minister. Thackeray, 59, will be the third Sena leader after Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane to occupy the top post of the state. The occasion comes after a month of political wrangling in the state saw the Sena and its ally BJP break their 30-year-long ties over the chief minister’s post. This followed the coming together of the ideologically divergent Sena, NCP, and the Congress.

Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in at Shivaji Park as Maharashtra CM, a traditional venue for events by the ShivSena, which includes founder Bal Thackeray’s iconic Dussehra rallies too. Maharashtra will have a first ThackerayFamily member as chief minister. This election was significant for the Sena as Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya became the first from his family to contest a poll and win.

On Wednesday leaders of the ‘Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi’ (MVA) the Sena-NCP-Congress combine met as the process of forming the new council of ministers gathered momentum. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Thackeray, and Congress veteran Ahmed Patel were among the leaders who held parleys over a council of ministers and the swearing-in ceremony. Congress general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge joined the leaders later.

NCP leader Praful Patel confirmed that the deputy chief minister of the alliance will be from his party and the speaker from the Congress. “There will be only one deputy chief minister and that will be from the NCP,” said Patel after attending a meeting of the MLAs of the three alliance partners in Mumbai on Wednesday.

NCP leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil and Maharashtra Congress unit chief Balasaheb Thorat are likely to take oath as state ministers on Thursday, sources in the two parties said. Sources also confirm that ShivSena leader Eknath Shinde will be taking oath as State Minister. However, the portfolio isn’t yet decided. Meanwhile, NCP leader Ajit Pawar will be not taking oath today. Pawar is back in the party but he will be not allocated any ministry said sources.

Uddhav Thackeray will be the eighth person to take oath as Maharashtra CM while not being a legislator. Congress leaders AR Antulay, Vasantdada Patil, Shivajirao Nilangekar-Patil, Shankarrao Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde, and Prithviraj Chavan are among the leaders who were not members of any of the state legislature Houses when they occupied CM post.

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