Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday at 6.40 pm. He was chosen as the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance comprising Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress. This comes after Devendra Fadnavis quit as the CM ahead of the trust vote. However, he is not the first Shiv Sena leader to take oath as the CM. Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane were two other party members who became the CM after the Sena-BJP alliance romped to victory in the 1995 Maharashtra Assembly elections.
A veteran member of the party, Joshi was elected to the Legislative Council for three terms till the late 1980s. Thereafter, he won the Assembly election and emerged as the CM choice in 1995. After completing 4 years as the CM, he faced significant pressure to resign after allegations of corruption surfaced. Finally, he put in his papers and was replaced by Narayan Rane. Subsequently, Joshi shifted to national politics and became the Speaker of the Lok Sabha during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led National Democratic Alliance between 2002 and 2004. His son Unmesh Joshi has been under the radar for alleged irregularities related to loans and equity investment worth over Rs.450 crore by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company. The Enforcement Directorate questioned him recently in this regard.
Rane’s tenure as CM lasted hardly for few months as Maharashtra went to the polls in 1999 itself. As the newly formed NCP decided to bury its differences with the Congress and stitch an alliance, Rane could not become the CM again. A rift within the Sena grew over the years where Rane was perceived as belonging to the Raj Thackeray camp. Thereafter, he and the party founder Balasaheb Thackeray had a bitter parting of ways in 2005. Subsequently, he joined the Congress and was inducted as a minister. Winning from the Kudal constituency for 6 consecutive terms, he suffered a setback when he lost to Sena’s candidate in the 2014 Assembly elections. After resigning as a Congress member in 2017, he formed the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP). He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2018 with the support of BJP. Days ahead of the Assembly elections in October 2019, Rane merged his party with the BJP and his son Nitesh won from the Kankavli constituency on a BJP ticket.