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Fadnavis to take charge today; Sena to keep off swearing-in

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Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai, Oct 31 (PTI) Devendra Fadnavis will today take oath as the 27th Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the first from BJP in the state, at a grand function which Shiv Sena has decided to boycott because of “constant humiliation”.

Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ today confirmed that no MLA or MP from that party will attend the function at Wankhede Stadium. It also wished all the best for the new CM in his task to develop Maharashtra.

“Our MLAs have expressed that they should be treated with respect if the BJP wants them to be part of the government. If that is not happening, then no one from the Sena will attend the ceremony, not even (party chief) Uddhavji,” said Sena MP Vinayak Raut.

The Sena said it has been “constantly been humiliated” by the BJP, “which has not gone down well with our MLAs”.

The Sena was hoping a solution would emerge after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and CM designate Fadnavis in Delhi yesterday.

Fadnavis, 44, will take oath of office in the presence of Modi, Shah, chief ministers of several BJP ruled states, corporate leaders, Bollywood stars and other celebrities.

Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said a small team will take oath with Fadnavis and the expansion of the council of ministers would be conducted later.

Around 10 ministers are expected to be sworn-in today, BJP sources said.

Fadnavis, a fourth-term MLA from Nagpur, will be the 27th Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the 18th person to hold the post. He will also be the fourth politician from Vidarbha region to become CM and at 44, the second youngest person to hold the top post in Maharashtra.

A thick security blanket has been thrown in and around the iconic Wankhede Stadium in South Mumbai with more than 2,500 security personnel being deployed for the swearing-in ceremony.

Over 1,100 traffic policemen will ensure smooth movement of VIP and VVIP vehicles around the sprawling cricket ground and along the roads leading to the venue from domestic airport.

The stadium, hosting the first open air oath-taking ceremony, has been declared a no flying zone, police said. PTI VT GK

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