Mumbai: As Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief and the leader of `Maha Vikas Aghadi` led by Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress, is all set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday (November 28) at Shivaji Park at 6.40 pm, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday (November 27) met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh and invited them for his father's oath ceremony.
Uddhav Thackeray, however, called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and invited him to attend the swearing-in ceremony after sending an invitation card to the PMO office. The Prime Minister congratulated Uddhav Thackeray. Uddhav has specially invited around 400 farmers from various districts of Maharashtra to participate in his swearing-in ceremony.
NCP leader Praful Patel earlier confirmed that the only Deputy Chief Minister in the new Maharashtra government will be from his party while the post of Assembly Speaker will go to the Congress. He said, "There will be only one Deputy Chief Minister and that will be from the NCP," while speaking to reporters after a meeting of Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena MLAs.
"The Speaker has been decided by all three parties. The Speaker will be from the Congress and Deputy Speaker from the NCP," added Patel. He, however, also clarified that "it is not decided yet how many ministers will take the oath with the Chief Minister tomorrow."
The Maha Vikas Aghadi late on Wednesday decided that the coveted post of Speaker will go to the Congress and the Deputy Chief Minister`s post will be held by the Nationalist Congress Party, senior NCP leader Praful Patel said. Additionally, the post of Deputy Speaker will also go to the NCP, he said. As per current information, there will be only one Deputy Chief Minister in the new government.
After the NCP conceded the Maharashtra Speaker`s position to the Congress, former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is emerging as the front-runner for the post as he is the top choice of the party, sources said.
He has worked in the party organisation for a long time and also served as Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s Office in the UPA government. Chavan is a close confidante of Ahmed Patel, the top Sonia Gandhi aide.
On Tuesday, Thackeray was unanimously elected as the leader of the tri-party alliance. MLAs of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had met the Governor and submitted a letter declaring Shiv Sena Chief Udhhav Thackeray as their leader late on Tuesday, following which, Koshyari issued the directives.
The political development came after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis submitted his resignation as Chief Minister to the Governor on Tuesday as "the BJP fell short of the required number of MLAs to win the scheduled floor test". Supreme Court had asked the Fadnavis government to prove its majority in the 288-member Assembly before 5 pm on Wednesday.
On Saturday morning, both Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar were administered oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of the state, respectively, nixing Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP`s bid to form government in the state.