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KCR to meet Uddhav Thackeray on Feb 20 to discuss anti-BJP front


As part of his efforts to forge an anti-BJP alliance at the national level, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will be meeting his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on February 20.

Thackeray spoke to Chandrasekhar Rao over phone on Wednesday and invited him to Mumbai.

According to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the Maharashtra chief minister extended his full support to the efforts of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief to fight “anti-people” policies of the BJP government at the Centre and for federal justice.

The Shiv Sena leader was all praise for KCR’s fight and told him that to protect the country from “divisive” forces, he has raised his voice at the right time. “You continue the fight for the rights of the states and to protect the unity of the country. March ahead with the same spirit. You will have our full support. In this regard, we will extend all possible help to you to mobilise public support,” the CMO quoted Thackeray as saying.

Inviting KCR to Mumbai, Thackeray requested him to agree to be his guest. “On this occasion, we will discuss the future course of action,” Thackeray said.

KCR has already announced his plans to play a key role in forging a national alliance against BJP. He had told reporters on Sunday that he would soon visit Mumbai to meet Thackeray. He said he would also meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon.

The Maharashtra chief minister is the second leader to speak to KCR over phone in two days. Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader Deve Gowda had called up the TRS chief on Tuesday seeking KCR’s support to the fight launched by him against the “religious polarisation” of politics by the BJP government at the Centre.

Deve Gowda congratulated KCR for fighting against the communal politics in the country. “Rao Saab, you are fighting very well. Everyone should fight against the communal elements. To protect our country’s secularism, culture and its diverse culture we will be with you and support you. Continue your fight and our total support will be there for you,” the CMO quoted the former Prime Minister as saying.

KCR told Deve Gowda that he would visit Bangalore in this regard and meet him personally.

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Uddhav takes oath as Maha CM, 6 Ministers also sworn in


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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