The oath-ceremony of the first chief minister from the Thackeray family- Uddhav Thackeray was organised in the state with full pomp and show. After a dramatic turnout of the event, the oath-taking is now seen as an opulent show of power for the next five years in the state of Maharashtra. With lights and colours across the state was a show of win for the Maha Vikas Aghadi. It is reported that the stage on which Uddhav Thackeray took the oath of being the chief minister was designed by a renowned set designer of Bollywood- Nitin Desai. With the new government springing in action, the three-party alliance is now set to discuss the common minimum programme of the coalition government in the state. Even before so, there have been rumours that the government will put a stop on critical projects undertaken by the BJP in the previous tenure with emphasis on the bullet train and metro construction.
What does the common minimum programme of the new government say?
Regarding the common minimum programme of the newly formed Maharashtra government, the primary contention is with regard to bringing the agenda of all three of these parties on the same page. It will have to emphasis on a ‘working solution’ to bring these three ideologically different parties on one single platform and agree on an only government. The first and foremost is to uphold the ‘secular values’ in the vast state of Maharashtra. Furthermore, it is also working towards an immediate loan waiver programme for the suffering farmers of Maharashtra. This is to be addressed with the help of a new law which can ensure 80% reservations in jobs for the locals of the state. There were discussions about setting up Re. 1 clinics in all taluks across the various districts of Maharashtra and to provide for affordable food to people at Rs. 10 a thali.
Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Jayant Patil (NCP) and Bala Saheb Thorat (INC) have signed a four-page document soon after the oath-taking. Through the said document and as the preamble reads, the alliance partners of the present government are committed to upholding the secular sentiments which are enshrined in the government. The depleting secular fabric of the country is not only a state-wide issue but rather an issue which has to be addressed at the national importance. The alliance has decided to take on consultations for arriving on a consensus and forming a joint view on how to take the agenda forward.
The major issues which are being brought up as a priority by the government are to revise the crop insurance scheme ensuring the grant of immediate compensation to the farmers along with the remunerative prices for farm produce. There are also discussions for the construction of a sustainable water supply system in the area which are prone to be hit by drought and are currently surviving in a deplorable situation after the recent drought. The state has an intensified woes of the farmers given the striking of unseasonal rain in October and early November. This had a direct effect on the crop on 93.89 lakh hectares of land, with 1.04 crore farmers suffering losses.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi has also decided to form two committees, one designated to set up coordinate within the state cabinet and another to coordinate among the three allies.
The Uddhav swearing-in had estimated that over 40,000 followers of the three alliance who have come together to stand firm in the state of Maharashtra. The crowd was humungous and were hosted in the Shivaji Park ground in the central area of Mumbai, exceeding all estimate. It is reported that karyakartas have travelled from across the state of Maharashtra to witness the grand oath-taking ceremony. The ground was filled with karyakartas and their family with pictures of Bal Thackeray and slogans in support of the government. The moment is being described as ‘historic’ for a Thackeray to assume power in the state finals. The swearing-in ceremony was not merely a celebration but rather a show of strength, sending out a strong message to the opposition government.
Unstable Government or the Maha Alliance!
Soon after it became clear that the Maha Vikas Aghadi would be forming the government, there was criticism from across which called it an ‘unstable government’. News channels portrayed it as a vehicle with three wheels which is a mark of instability with titles flashing on the screens saying ‘Teen tigada kaam bigada’ (literally translated as three people/parties together will always lead to ruin a work). However, there is also support from different political parties calling it a successful experiment of bringing the Hindu majoritarian BJP government down. In the swearing-in, there were senior leaders of the state present showing strength like Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam M.K. Stalin and T.R. Baalu Senior Congress leader and chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath was also current. Other than the above said politicians, Ahmed Patel, Kabil Sibal and the family of industrialist Mukesh Ambani were also in attendance. Representing the opposition were Devendra Fadnavis and his close aide Chandrakant Patil attended the oath-taking ceremony.