Other States

18 Ministers take oath in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde with BJP leader Girish Mahajan, the MLA from Jamner, who was among the 18 Ministers sworn in at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, on August 9, 2022.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde with BJP leader Girish Mahajan, the MLA from Jamner, who was among the 18 Ministers sworn in at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, on August 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The much-awaited expansion of the Maharashtra Cabinet of the BJP-Shiv Sena government led by Eknath Shinde took place on Tuesday in Mumbai with 18 legislators taking oath as ministers.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to 18 legislators as ministers. The allocation of portfolios is yet to be announced.

The new Cabinet, which is formed 40 days after Mr. Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively, has nine ministers each from the BJP and the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena.

From the BJP, ​Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Vijaykumar Gavit, Mangal Prabhat Lodh, Atul Save, Ravindra Chavan, and Suresh Khade were sworn in as ministers at the ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan.

Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction inducted Deepak Kesarkar, Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse, Tanaji Sawant, Uday Samant, Abdul Sattar, Shambhuraj Desai, Sanjay Rathod, and Sandipan Bhumre into the Cabinet.

The State administration, earlier on Monday, issued a notice announcing that the long-delayed monsoon session of the State legislature would also begin on Wednesday and continue till August 18.

Maharashtra BJP vice president protests against Sena leader Sanjay Rathod’s induction

BJP State vice president Chitra Wagh protests the induction of Sena leader Sanjay Rathod into the Cabinet. “​It is very unfortunate that former minister Sanjay Rathod, who caused the death of Pooja Chavan, has been given the post of minister again. I will continue my fight against Rathod even though he has become a minister again,” said Ms. Wagh.

Mr. Rathod had been forced to resign as State Forest Minister in the erstwhile Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in 2021 after he came under mounting pressure from the BJP for his alleged connection with the death of Pooja Chavan, a 23-year-old woman from the nomadic banjara community in Pune.

Responding to criticism, CM Shinde said Mr. Rathod had been given a clean chit by the police during the previous government.

“Sanjay Rathod had been given a clean chit by the police in the erstwhile MVA government. Hence, he was inducted in the present cabinet. If someone else has anything to say over and above this, we will definitely hear them out,” the Chief Minister said.

‘Two-man jumbo Cabinet’

Ever since Mr. Shinde and Mr. Fadnavis took power on June 30 after the former led a rebellion to topple the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government of former CM Uddhav Thackeray, the expansion of the State Cabinet had been pending, drawing criticism from the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena and other Opposition parties, including the NCP. 

The Opposition has been censuring Mr. Shinde and Mr. Fadnavis for running a ‘two-man jumbo Cabinet’ of their own.

PTI adds:

17 of 18 new Ministers were Ministers earlier too

Of the 18 Ministers sworn in at the Raj Bhavan ceremony, only one has become a Minister for the first time.

There is no woman in the list.

The new Ministers include Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Rathod, who was the forest Minister when Uddhav Thackeray was the Chief Minister, and was forced to resign after BJP leaders blamed him for a woman’s suicide.

The new Ministers include State BJP president Chandrakant Patil (63), who is a two-term MLC and first-term MLA from western Maharashtra. He was Revenue and PWD Minister during 2014-19.

Girish Mahajan (62) is a BJP leader from north Maharashtra and has won Assembly elections six consecutive times. He is known for his proximity with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Sudhir Mungantiwar (60) is a six-term BJP MLA from Vidarbha’s Chandrapur district. He served as finance and forest Minister during 2014-19.

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (63) is a seven-term MLA from Ahmednagar district. He was the leader of opposition in Assembly while in Congress during 2014-19 but won the 2019 Assembly election on BJP ticket.

Ravindra Chavan (51) of BJP is a three-term MLA from Thane district. He served as a Minister of State during 2014-19.

Vijaykumar Gavit (67) is a five-term MLA, who left NCP in 2014 to join the BJP. He is from north Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district.

Atul Save (60) is a second-term BJP MLA from Marathwada (Dist Aurangabad). He is a former Minister of State.

Mangal Prabhat Lodha (66) is a five-term BJP MLA from Mumbai. He is also Mumbai unit president of the party. Lodha, a prominent builder, has declared assets worth ₹441 crore in the 2019 Assembly election, making him the richest MLA in the State.

Suresh Khade (64) is a second-term BJP MLA from western Maharashtra’s Sangli district. He is a Minister of State.

Among the nine legislators sworn in from Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s group of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, Gulabrao Patil (56) is a four-term Shiv Sena MLA from north Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district. He was a Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA Government.

Uday Samant (46) is a four-term Shiv Sena MLA from Ratnagiri district, He was a Minister in the MVA Government.

Sandipan Bhumre (59) is five-term Sena MLA from Marathwada’s Aurangabad district. He was a Cabinet Minister in the previous government.

Dada Bhuse (58) is a four-term Shiv Sena MLA from north Maharashtra’s Nashik district. He was a Minister in the MVA Government.

Shambhuraj Desai (55) is a three-term Sena MLA from Satara district. He was a junior Minister in the MVA Government.

Sanjay Rathod (51) is a four-term Sena MLA from Yavatmal district.

Tanaji Sawant (58) is a first-term Sena MLA from Osmanabad district. He is a former member of the Legislative Council and a former Minister.

Abdul Sattar (54) is three-term MLA from Marathwada. He was with the Congress in his first two terms and joined the Sena in 2019.

Deepak Kesarkar (67) is a three-term MLA from Shiv Sena. He is from Sindhudurg district and is a former Minister of State.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 11:45:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-cabinet-expansion-18-ministers-take-oath-in-maharashtra/article65749183.ece