States

Portfolio distribution: NCP gets crucial Home, Finance

Anil Deshmukh

Anil Deshmukh  

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Five days after the Cabinet expansion, the newly formed Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra on Sunday assigned portfolios, with senior NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar getting Finance and Planning. The Home Ministry was allocated to his party colleague Anil Deshmukh.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will look after General Administration, IT, Information and Public Relations, Law & Judiciary.

While Mr. Thackeray will lead the Cabinet, the Sena has 11 Cabinet Ministers and three MoS. The NCP has the largest number of Ministers, with 12 Cabinet Ministers and four MoS. The Congress has 10 Cabinet Ministers and two MoS. “This is one of the most experienced Cabinets the State has ever got. There are no issues with any party,” said Housing Minister from NCP, Jitendra Awhad.

The Congress attempt to get either the Agriculture or Rural Development department from the Shiv Sena and the NCP respectively did not succeed.

While the Congress demand for extra portfolios was the reason for the delay, the internal dispute in the NCP on who should get Home slowed down the process. Ultimately NCP chief Sharad Pawar chose Mr. Deshmukh from Katol constituency stressing on the need to expand the party in the Vidarbha region.

The Chief Minister, who after taking charge last month, had said that he would not like to be confined to the four walls of his office but prefer to reach out to the people, has decided not to keep any of the key ministries with him.

This is for the first time in two decades that the CM will not be holding charge of the Urban Development Department (UDD). Sena’s Eknath Shinde will be the UD minister, along with Public Works (Public Undertaking).

According to sources, the Sena chief wants to follow the Delhi model set by Arvind Kejriwal. His son and first-time MLA Aaditya Thackeray has been given charge of the Environment, Tourism and Protocol departments.

Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat has got the Revenue ministry, while his party colleague and former chief minister Ashok Chavan got the Public Works Department (PWD), excluding public undertaking.

Senior Sena leader Subhash Desai has got Industries and Mineral departments, while party leader Anil Parab got the Transport and Parliamentary Affairs departments. The delay in portfolio allocation led to opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders suggesting that the MVA government ‘auction’ the Cabinet berths.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 4:41:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/portfolio-distribution-ncp-gets-crucial-home-finance/article30489245.ece

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