Shiv Sena President Uddhav B. Thackeray was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra at a colourful function held in Shivaji Park here on Thursday evening.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office and secrecy at 6.40 pm to Thackeray - who sported a striking saffron coloured kurta-pyjama, the Sena's colour.
In an unusual gesture of humility, soon after completing the formalities, Thackeray, the first from the politically prominent Thackeray clan to hold the post, stepped to the front of the stage and knelt down, touching his hands and head on the floor to express his gratitude to the people of Maharashtra for the honour bestowed on him.
Thackeray is the third from the Sena to be Chief Minister after Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane in the late 1990s.
मी उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे... pic.twitter.com/rgbiHoFzlX— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) November 28, 2019
Besides, two legislators from each of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)'s constituents - the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Congress, also took oath as ministers.
They are: Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, NCP's Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal, and Congress' Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut.
महाराष्ट्र राज्याच्या मुख्यमंत्री पदाची शपथ घेतल्यानंतर महाराष्ट्र राज्याचे नवनिर्वाचित मुख्यमंत्री मा. श्री. उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी सहकुटुंब श्री सिद्धिविनायकाचे दर्शन घेतले. pic.twitter.com/wwmckVgyTF— ShivSena - शिवसेना (@ShivSena) November 28, 2019
Among the prominent dignitaries present on the occasion were more than 500 farmers and farm widows from all over Maharashtra, Thackeray's cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, Reliance Group industrialist Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani and their family.
युवासेनाप्रमुख आ.@AUThackeray आणि शिवसेना सचिव @NarvekarMilind_ जी यांनी आज काँग्रेसचे ज्येष्ठ नेते, माजी पंतप्रधान डॉ. मनमोहन सिंह जी यांना महाराष्ट्र विकास आघाडीचे नेते, शिवसेना पक्षप्रमुख मा. श्री. उद्धव साहेब ठाकरे यांच्या मुख्यमंत्रीपदाच्या शपथविधी सोहळ्याचे निमंत्रण दिले. pic.twitter.com/PRHpQB2Ily— ShivSena - शिवसेना (@ShivSena) November 27, 2019
At least three Chief Ministers from other states, six former Maharashtra CM like Sharad Pawar, Sushilkumar Shinde, Manohar Joshi, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan and Devendra Fadnavis were present.
Other prominent personalities from all the three parties included Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Kapil Sibal, Rajiv Shukla, Praful Patel, Kishore Tiwari, Supriya Sule-Pawar, Sanjay Raut, Arvind Sawant, Rohit Pawar, and Ajit Pawar and his son Parth Pawar.
महाविकास आघाडीच्या बैठकीत मुख्यमंत्री म्हणून शिवसेना पक्षप्रमुख मा. श्री. उद्धव साहेब ठाकरे यांच्या नावाची घोषणा झाल्यानंतर त्यांनी मातोश्री निवासस्थानी वंदनीय हिंदुहृदयसम्राट शिवसेनाप्रमुख मा. श्री. बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांच्या स्मृतीला वंदन केले. pic.twitter.com/HDX5PtFbOu— ShivSena - शिवसेना (@ShivSena) November 26, 2019
Thackeray's son Aditya Thackeray and wife Rashmi Thackeray, besides aunt Kundatai (mother of Raj Thackeray) who was seen shedding tears of joy at her nephew's ascent as CM, were also present.
Scores of leaders, legislators, MPs and well-wishers touched Thackeray's feet as he gracefully accepted their wishes and felicitations.
A group of Jain monks and sanyasins also turned up impromptu to pray for, wish and bless Thackeray and son Aaditya, on the stage after the oath ceremony.
Shivaji Park was transformed into a colourful sea of humanity with an estimated over 100,000 people including activists of the three MVA parties and others coming from all over Maharashtra to witness the historical event.