MUMBAI: Maharashtra BJP chief and a fourth-term MLA from Nagpur Devendra Fadnavis became the 27th Chief Minister of the state and the 18th person to hold the post as he took oath at a grand function in Wankhade stadium here on Friday.
Fadnavis, 44-years-old, is the first BJP leader, fourth politician from Vidarbha region, and the second youngest person after Sharad Pawar to hold the top post of Maharashtra.
He had been elected as leader of the BJP legislature party on October 28. Eknath Khadse, Mungantiwar and Pankaja Munde, daughter of late Gopinath Munde, had proposed and seconded his name in presence of party’s central observers Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda.
Eknath Khadse, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde, Pankaja Gopinath Munde and Vishnu Rama Savra also took oath as Cabinet ministers and Vidya Jaiprakash Thakur and Dilip Nyandev Kamble ministers of state.
NCP leader Prafull Patel, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, former CM Prithviraj Chavan, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandra Babu Naidu, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, senior BJP leaders Kirit Somayya, Om Prakash Mathur, Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy were among many dignitaries present on the occasion.
Fadnavis, under whose leadership the party registered its most impressive performance in Maharashtra till date, is said to have the backing of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. Fadnavis had won the assembly election from Nagpur South West constituency by more than 30,000 votes.
Famous Marathi artist Ashok Hande and his team performed cultural programmes even as a thick security blanket was thrown in and around the stadium with more than 2,500 security personnel deployed on duty.