New Delhi: Portfolio allocation was finally done in Maharashtra on Saturday, five days after cabinet expansion ceremony took place on December 30. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray allotted portfolios amid reports of unrest within the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance with several MLAs allegedly threatening to resign over not being inducted in the cabinet.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), whose chief Sharad Pawar is credited as the architect of the ruling coalition, bagged the two big portfolios: Finance and Home. While Ajit Pawar, who was sworn-in as deputy Chief Minister despite a short-lived ‘rebellion’ last month, was given finance, Anil Deshmukh will be the new Home Minister of the state. The Sena, meanwhile, retained the Urban Development Ministry which will be held by Eknath Shinde.
Worli MLA and the Chief Mnister’s son, Aaditya, who, too, took oath on Monday, will get the Tourism and Environment portfolio.
Congress, the third and the junior-most alliance member, got Revenue and Energy with former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan bagging the crucial Public Works Department (PWD) portfolio. State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat will get the Revenue Ministry.
NCP MLAs Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Dilip Walse Patil and Dhananjay Munde have been allotted Irrigation, Food and Civil Supplies, Excise and Social Justice departments respectively.
A total of 36 ministers-26 cabinet and 10 Ministers of State (MoS)-took oath in the December 30 ceremony. The Maharashtra cabinet has 43 ministers with the Sena getting 16 portfolios, besides that of party chief Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister, while the NCP and the Congress have 14 and 12 berths respectively.
The initial swearing-in ceremony of the MVA government had taken place on November 28 with two MLAs from each party taking oath alongside Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.
The MVA government was formed after the BJP and the Sena, decades for nearly three decades, went their separate ways despite winning a comfortable majority in the Assembly Election in the state, which took place in October. The reason behind the split was the Sena’s insistence at sharing the Chief Minister’s chair which the BJP didn’t agree to.