Hours after taking oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray chaired his first cabinet meeting and addressed the media after that. When queried about the preamble of the Common Minimum Program (CMP) which highlights that the alliance will uphold secularism, Thackeray shot back - "What is the meaning of secular? You tell me. It is there in the Constitution," referencing the Constitution's preamble.
The Shiv Sena, from inception and until now, has been a strong advocate of Hindutva - which politically sets it apart from the 'secular' Congress. The Shiv Sena chief, who is the first member of the Thackeray clan to hold a ministerial position, also assured that the government formed would be a government of the common man and highlighted that his first decision as the Chief Minister was to sanction Rs 20 crores for the conservation work of Shivaji Maharaj’s Raigad fort.
Furthermore, Thackeray added, "It is natural that the havoc caused by the unnatural rains in the last few days has devastated the farmers. I and my colleagues have met the farmers. I have directed the Chief Secretary to present the real picture of whatever has been done for the farmers till today. I don’t want to be half-hearted when I help the farmers. I want to go full-fledged and help the farmers. I want to see a smile on every farmer’s face. We will take whatever decision has to be taken with a firm resolve."
#UddhavCM | What is the meaning of secular? It is in the Constitution: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to question regarding the mention of his alliance upholding 'secular' values in its Common Minimum Pdogramme's preamblehttps://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/9nZfOMMsWV— Republic (@republic) November 28, 2019
With 'secular' scripted on the first line, the unconventional alliance led by the saffron party, released the Common Minimum Program on Thursday. According to the Common Minimum Program, the alliance of Sena-NCP-Congress begins with a preamble stating that the coalition is committed to uphold the "secular values" enshrined in the Constitution. It reads, "The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On contentious issue of national importance as well as of state importance especially having repurcissions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus."