Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in as Maharashtra’s Chief Minister at the Shivaji Park in Dadar on Thursday evening. The Bombay High Court raised security concerns over the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray and said holding such functions at a public ground should not become a regular feature. Going forward, everyone will want to use the ground for such ceremonies, a division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and RI Chagla said.
The court said, “We do not want to say anything about tomorrow’s ceremony… we are only praying that nothing untoward happens,” the court said while hearing a plea of NGO Wecom Trust on whether the Shivaji Park was a playground or a recreation ground. What will happen is that this (holding ceremonies) will become a regular feature and everyone will want to use the ground for such ceremonies,” The high court had in 2010 declared the area as a “silence zone” after the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by the NGO.
For the first time since Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, BJP grieved a serious impairment not only to Modi and Shah’s reputation but also to their political legitimacy. The fame BJP had attained since Modi became PM was one of invulnerability, captured in the colloquial slogan “Modi hai toh mumkin hai!” (Nothing is impossible for Modi). His failure to pull off the audacious power grab in Maharashtra has dented this reputation. But the damage done is not just to his personal stature, but also the moral stature of the high political office he occupies. For the first time in the past five and a half years, Modi (along with his deputy, Amit Shah) has been exposed for his central role in making the President of India and the Governor of a state colluders in a stealthy plot of power grab. Both Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi and Raj Bhavan in Mumbai are expected to act as impartial custodians of the constitution. But both are today seen as connivers in its subversion.
After the great humiliation in Maharashtra, two days-old BJP government collapsed before it could take a floor test ordered by the Supreme Court. Modi and Shah will be invited to a function where Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will take oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy, Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, resigned on Tuesday after failing to muster enough numbers, ensuring that the Congress and NCP will form government in Maharashtra in partnership with ideologically opposite Shiv Sena. The Sena-NCP-Congress leaders evening conducted a meeting where it was decided Thackeray will lead the alliance and the state government. “Key leaders of the three parties will meet Governor to stake claim to form government in Maharashtra…the swearing-in ceremony will take place on December 1,” NCP’s Nawab Malik said at a presser in Mumbai. The date of the ceremony, however, was later changed to November 28.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut — who had been at the forefront of alliance talks between the three parties after the decades old Sena-BJP partnership had ended over Thackeray’s demand of rotational chief ministership — was asked on Wednesday if PM Modi would be invited to the function.
“Yes we will invite everyone, we will even invite Amit Shah,” he quipped.
The BJP, in a stunning move, had Devendra Fadnavis take oath of office at an unannounced ceremony in the Governor’s official residence early Saturday morning. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar had also been sworn in as his deputy. The move took the Sena-Congress-NCP alliance, which had been exploring the feasibility of a coalition government, completely by surprise.