Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today rejected the BJP's objection to him invoking his late parents while taking the oath on Thursday, and claimed that it was something he would not hesitate to do again.
"You feel stung because we took the name of (Maratha ruler) Chhatrapati Shivaji while taking the oath. I will take the name again and again. Those who don't take names of their parents have no right to live. Thinking that taking the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji and one's parents is a crime goes against the culture of Maharashtra," he said, referring to the BJP in his address to the state assembly shortly after sailing through the floor test.
His predecessor, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, had led the walkout over Mr Thackeray and his ministers taking oath in an "unlawful manner" and the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP combine replacing BJP member Kalidas Kolambkar with the NCP's Dilip Walse Patil as the pro-tem speaker before the floor test.
"One took Balasaheb Thackeray's name, another invoked (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi and NCP president Sharad Pawar. The oath was not taken in accordance with the prescribed format," Mr Fadnavis had said before leading BJP members out of the door. The replacement of Kalidas Kolambkar with Dilip Walse Patil was a "violation of constitution norms", he added.
In his address, Uddhav Thackeray also expressed his gratitude to alliance MLAs and the people of Maharashtra in general for giving him an opportunity to lead the state. "I thank all the members for trusting me. I also thank the people of the state. It will not be possible to work for the state without their blessings," he said.
The 59-year-old Shiv Sena chief acknowledged that this was his first time in the Maharashtra assembly. "There was some pressure before coming here because I do not have enough experience working in the House, only on the ground. I feel fortunate to be here," he said.
As many as 169 MLAs voted in favour of the motion of confidence, moved by former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and seconded by senior NCP and Sena members.
(With inputs from PTI)