Finally reviving the 25-year old alliance which suffered major upheaval in the recent past, the Shiv Sena formally joined the BJP government in Maharashtra led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday.
Ten Shiv Sena ministers, five of cabinet rank and five of minister of state rank, took oath in the first expansion of the Fadnavis ministry on Friday afternoon. Ten BJP ministers – five of cabinet rank and five of minister of state rank – were also inducted, report stated.
Governor CV Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy to all the 20 ministers at a ceremony held on the lawns of the Maharashtra Legislature building in Nariman Point.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray attended the swearing-in ceremony along with his family members and senior party leaders.
This expansion took the total strength of the ministry to 30, including the chief minister. Fadnavis was sworn in at the head of a 10-member ministry Oct 31.
Earlier Friday morning, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde tendered his resignation as Leader of Opposition as his party moved to the treasury benches.
The party, which has 63 legislators and had opted to sit in the opposition last month, changed sides and joined the BJP government – reviving the 25-year old alliance which had been snapped three weeks before the Oct 15 elections.
This is the second time after two decades the two parties are allying in a government – earlier the Shiv Sena-BJP had ruled the state in 1995-1999.