Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray shortly after he was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra along with six ministers today, expressing confidence that the state will see a "bright future" under his governance. "Congratulations to Uddhav Thackeray Ji on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. I am confident he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra," he said in a tweet.
Congratulations to Uddhav Thackeray Ji on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. I am confident he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra. @OfficeofUT— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 28, 2019
The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party in the Maharashtra assembly elections last month, could not form its government in the state due to a disagreement with former ally Shiv Sena over its demand for the chief minister's post on a rotational basis. A political battle of wits followed, culminating in Uddhav Thackeray joining hands with the rival Congress-NCP combine and finally forming an unlikely coalition government with him at the helm.
Congratulations and best wishes to Shri Uddhav Thackeray ji on being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. @OfficeofUT— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 28, 2019
Among the other politicians to tweet their compliments to Uddhav Thackeray on his ascension to the Maharashtra chief minister's post were Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari; Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal; Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot; Patidar leader Hardik Patel; and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. BJP leader Poonam Mahajan also sent across a congratulatory message, but one laced with biting sarcasm.
"Congratulations to Uddhavji on becoming the Maharashtra Chief Minister. We'll see how far their three-wheeler cart can go. Only Sharad Pawarji is keeping this unnatural alliance together, the Congress doesn't even have 10% say in the government," news agency ANI quoted her as saying.
Many BJP leaders, including Nitin Gadkari, have claimed that the Sena-Congress-NCP coalition will collapse under the weight of its inherent contradictions.
PM Modi was invited to 59-year-old Uddhav Thackeray's swearing-in ceremony at Mumbai's Shivaji Park, where Bal Thackeray had announced the birth of the Shiv Sena during a Dussehra rally in 1966, but he did not make an appearance. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son -- Rahul Gandhi -- also excused themselves, sending congratulatory letters in their stead.
Among the politicians who attended the ceremony were Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Congress leader Kapil Sibal, DMK chief MK Stalin, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. Business magnates Mukesh Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla were also seen.