Aaditya Thackeray Visits Delhi To Invite Sonia Gandhi For Father Uddhav's Oath

Yesterday, Uddhav Thackeray thanked Sonia Gandhi for the chance to be chief minister, admitting that he had "never dreamed of leading" Maharashtra.

Aaditya Thackeray meets Sonia Gandhi at her home in Delhi

New Delhi:

After reports said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi will not attend the oath ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday, the Shiv Sena chief's son, Aaditya Thackeray, personally came to Delhi to invite Mrs Gandhi on Wednesday evening. 

Aaditya Thackeray after visiting Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath home, also met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sources say both Mrs Gandhi and Dr Singh conveyed their good wishes but said they won't be able to travel for the swearing-in ceremony.

Aaditya Thackeray, the 29-year-old first time MLA, reportedly asked Dr Singh to help with Maharashtra's finances and the former PM promised to help with whatever he could do.

The junior Thackeray also said it was a great opportunity to come together, according to sources.

Aaditya Thackeray's father Uddhav Thackeray will lead a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - Congress government in the state.

According to Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Sonia Gandhi has been invited to Uddhav Thackeray's oath ceremony at 6.40 pm at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai, the venue of major Sena events including party founder Bal Thackeray's Dussehra rallies in the past.

But Congress leader Ahmed Patel was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that Mr Thackeray had invited both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi's approval was a big factor in Uddhav Thackeray winning the support of ideological rivals NCP and Congress to form government after a bitter break-up with long-time ally BJP. Sources say when the Congress chief, reluctant about compromising on her party's secular credentials, consulted top party leaders about supporting the pro-Hindutva Sena, Rahul Gandhi conveyed his reservations.

On Tuesday, Uddhav Thackeray thanked Sonia Gandhi for the chance to be chief minister, admitting that he had "never dreamed of leading" Maharashtra.

Congress chief ministers, DMK leader MK Stalin, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal have also been invited, however Mr Kejriwal has turned down the invite citing personal reasons.

The oath ceremony of the shortlived Congress-Janata Dal Secular government in Karnataka was also a grand spectacle of opposition unity, with both the Gandhis and a range of opposition leaders including Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal. That bonhomie became distant memory as a not-so-cohesive opposition went into the national election earlier this year and failed to put up a good show.

In July, the Congress-JDS coalition crashed and the BJP took power.

The BJP predicts that the Maharashtra three-party alliance will also fall apart soon.

Though Rahul Gandhi has distanced himself from the Sena, he lashed out at the ruling BJP in parliament over the sudden government formation in Maharashtra and said: "There is no point in my asking the question as democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra."

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