Maharashtra cabinet expansion after December 21
Geetanjali Minhas | December 13, 2019 | Mumbai
Two weeks after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) came to power in Maharashtra on November 28 following a month-long political tug of war, chief minister Uddhav Thackerey has announced cabinet portfolios, keeping the home department for his Shiv Sena party, while giving the allies NCP and the Congress finance and revenue respectively.
Thackeray along with six ministers two each of the three allies took oath of office on November 28 after the Sena’s fallout with BJP over sharing of the chief minister’s post as the October 21 assembly elections produced mixed results.
Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has been given the charge of Home, Urban Development, Forest, Environment, Water Supply, Water Conservation, Tourism, Public Undertakings and Parliamentary Affairs departments, According to a statement issued from the chief minister’s office. Subhash Desai of the Sena has been given the charge of Industries, Higher and Technical Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, Horticulture, Transport, Marathi Language and Cultural Affairs and Ports.
The NCP’s Jayant Patil has been allocated Finance and Planning, Housing, Public Health, Co-operation, Food & Civil Supplies, Labour and Minority Welfare. Chhagan Bhujbal, also of NCP, has been given Irrigation, Rural Development, Social Justice, Excise, Skill Development, Food and Drug Administration.
The Congress’s Balasaheb Thorat has been given Revenue, Energy, Medical Education, School Education, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development & Fisheries. Nitin Raut from the Congress has been given PWD, Tribal Welfare, Women and Child Welfare, Textile, Relief and Rehabilitation, OBC, VJNT, Special Backward Class Welfare.
Going by the norms, the state government can accommodate a maximum of 43 ministers. Thackeray will handle any portfolio that remains non-allotted. The cabinet expansion will take place after the winter session of the assembly scheduled to take place in Nagpur during December 6-21.
Meanwhile, the BJP has alleged that prime minister Narendra Modi’s picture is missing from the official state government advertisements since the Maha Vikas Aghadi came to power. In a letter to chief minister Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, BJP state vice president Prasad Lad has said that the practice is “not in accordance with the Supreme Court guidelines for content regulation in government advertisements”.
Lad has stated that the apex court has permitted the publication of the photographs of the governors and the chief ministers of the state in addition to the photographs of the president and the prime minister and the chief justice of India in government advertisements.
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