Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday sworn-in as the new Maharashtra chief minister in a glittering ceremony at Mumbai's Shivaji Park. The oath to Thackeray was administered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Thackeray, 59, became the third Sena leader after Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane and first from his family to occupy the top post.
Along with Uddhav Thackeray, senior Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai also took oath as Cabinet ministers. From NCP, Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal took oath as minister in the Thackeray Cabinet. Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut were the two leaders from Congress party who sworn-in as the ministers during the ceremony.
The swearing-in of Uddhav Thackeray was attended by top leaders of the 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi' coalition, comprising the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress. However, no one from the Gandhi family attended the swearing-in of the Shiv Sena chief. India's richest businessman Mukesh Ambani, along with wife Nita and son Anant also attended the the oath-taking ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray and other Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders.
Born on July 27, 1960 in Mumbai, Thackeray studied at Balmohan Vidyamandir and later graduated from the JJ School of Arts, where photography was his main subject. Besides being a published author, he is also a professional photographer whose work has appeared in various magazines and has been showcased at numerous exhibitions.
Thackeray, 59, otherwise considered an affable, mild-mannered politician, displayed combative traits of his father, Sena founder Bal Thackeray, in dealing with one-time senior ally BJP on the demand for rotational chief ministership just after assembly poll results were announced on October 24. He stood his ground and refused to budge on the issue of splitting the chief ministership, a stand that eventually led to the collapse of the three-decade old saffron alliance.
After outmaneuvering the BJP, Thackeray will now have to prove his credentials as a leader who can navigate a new political path with ideologically different parties like the Congress and the NCP, partners in the Sena-led ruling coalition, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
(With PTI inputs)