Fadnavis Emerges Stronger After Portfolio Distribution In Maharashtra Cabinet, Shinde Keeps Maximum Departments
Fadnavis will be handling home, finance and planning, law and judiciary, water resources, housing and energy departments.
Shinde has kept urban development portfolio to him, continuing the tradition of CM holding this department.
Cabinet ministers of Maharashtra were allocated portfolios on Sunday (14 August), a week after they were sworn in.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appears to have emerged stronger with home and finance portfolios in his hands.
Apart from this, Fadnavis will also be handling planning, law and judiciary, water resources, housing and energy departments for now.
Whereas CM Eknath Shinde has kept a large number of portfolios with him including public works, environment, general administration, information and public relations, transport, marketing, social justice, disaster management, relief and rehabilitation, soil and water conservation, and minority development.
He has also kept urban development portfolio to him, continuing the tradition of CM holding this department which witnessed a break under Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde has Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) under him as well.
While nine ministers each from BJP and Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction were sworn in, giving an equality in numbers but crucial portfolios going on the BJP's side demonstrates which party holds a bigger say in the government.
Fadnavis has claimed that allocation of portfolios was the decision of the CM, however TOI has quoted a BJP cabinet minister as saying, "The allocation of portfolios was directly influenced by Fadnavis."
"Eknath Shinde agreed to the proposals made by Fadnavis and there was no interference by the BJP leadership. Initially, it was expected that Shinde will seek home department, but due to Fadnavis's intervention, it was allocated to him", he further said.
There were a few reports of disappointment over portfolio allocation among the cabinet ministers, but Fadnavis discarded it saying, "There is no dispute between the BJP and CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. If required, we can exchange some portfolios ahead of the next cabinet expansion."
It is also believed that CM and deputy CM have kept a large number of portfolios with them, so that they can distribute them during the next phase of cabinet expansion.
Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who joined BJP after leaving Congress in 2019, has been allocated revenue, animal husbandry and dairy development. It is believed that he hasbeen rewarded for switching loyalties.
Sudhir Mungatiwar was finance and planning minister in the Fadnavis-led government. He will be handling forest, cultural affairs and fisheries.
BJP Maharashtra's former president and revenue minister in Fadnavis government from 2016 to 2019, Chandrakant Patil will helm the departments of higher and technical education, textile industry and parliamentary affairs. It was believed that he wanted home or finance departments, but both staying with Fadnavis indicate that he is the chosen leader for Maharashtra BJP.
Vijayakumar Gavit will handle tribal development who joined BJP in 2014 after disassociating himself from NCP. Girish Mahajan will handle rural development and panchayati raj, medical education and sports and youth welfare portfolios.
Suresh Khade will be the new labour minister. He previously served as minister of social justice in Fadnvais cabinet. Ravindra Chavan has been allocated food, civil supplies and consumer protection departments.
Former BJP Mumbai chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha will be handling tourism, skill development and woman and child welfare ministries. Atul Save has been given Cooperation and OBC department portfolios.
Shiv Sena ministers
Gulabrao Patil has retained water supply and sanitation department which he served as a minister in Thackeray government. Shinde loyalist Sandipan Bhumare has also retained employment guarantee scheme and horticulture departments.
Shambhuraj Desai, who was minister of state for planning in Thackeray government, will handle state excise department. Four-time consecutive MLA from Ratnagiri, Uday Samant will be the new industries minister.
Tanaji Sawant, who served ministry of water conservation, has now been given the responsibility of the public health department. Abdul Sattar, who joined Shiv Sena after leaving Congress, has been given agriculture ministry.
This is seen as a demotion of Dadaji Bhuse who is former agriculture minister and was minister of state for co-operation and rural development as well, but now has been allocated ports and mining portfolios only.
Former minister of state for finance, Deepak Kesarkar will be handling school education and marathi language ministries. While, former forest minister and minister of state for revenue in Fadnavis government, Sanjay Rathod has been given food and drug administration.
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