Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to become the next chief minister of Maharashtra after BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis resigned from the state’s top political post, a day before facing the floor test as ordered by the Supreme Court.

The legislative party leaders of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday night and staked claim to form government with the support of 166 MLAs.

The Governor invited Thackeray to be the next chief minister of Maharashtra, informing that the oath-taking ceremony will be held tomorrow. Koshyari also asked him to submit a "list" of "majority support in the Assembly" by December 3.

“As requested today orally, the oath of Office and Secrecy would be administered to you on Thursday, the 28th November, 2019 at 1840 hours at Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai,” read the Governor’s letter to Thackeray.

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It further said that since Uddhav is not a member of the Maharashtra legislature, he will have to become member within six months after taking oath as the CM. 

Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had announced at a joint meeting of the three parties that swearing in of the new government will take place on December 1, but the schedule was apparently changed late night.

Addressing a joint meeting of legislators of the three parties, which stitched a last-minute alliance after the collapse of the BJP-Sena bonhomie, Thackeray said that said his government will not be vindictive.

"I will go to Delhi to meet my `elder brother' after the government is formed," he said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had called him "my younger brother" during campaign rallies.  

Speaking at the meeting, Thackeray evoked memories of his father, late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

"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 on each other. We will make this Maharashtra once again that Maharashtra which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj dreamt of," said the Sena chief. 

Without naming the former ally BJP with whom the Sena had a bitter falling out after contesting the October 21 assembly elections together, Thackeray said he would not align with those who speak lies, apparently referring to the BJP's claim that it had never agreed to share CM's post with Sena.

Addressing reporters earlier in the day, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Shiv Sena of being desperate for the chief minister's post and surrendering its "Hindutva" at the feet of Congress president Sonia Gandhi only to keep the BJP out of power.

Referring to that comment, Thackeray said he is ready to speak on any issue the BJP wants him to and that he was not the one who gets scared.

"I am a fighter. He said those who did not get out of Matoshree (the residence of Thackerays), reached out to others. I will speak on that too. But those (BJ) who had come to Matoshree, they lied outside. If this is the respect you have for Matoshree, then I cannot align with you," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Pawar eulogised Bal Thackeray, his bitter adversary in politics but a dear friend
in personal life. The three parties named their alliance as 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi'.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Fadnavis resigned, barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time, a move triggered by his deputy Ajit Pawar's resignation citing "personal reasons".

Fadnavis was sworn in on November 23 in an early morning hush-hush ceremony, with the support of Ajit Pawar, who then headed the 54-member NCP legislature party. Ajit was not seen at the joint meeting of the three parties on Tuesday evening.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta