Maha CM Eknath Shinde reshuffles cabinet; Ajit Pawar, new finance minister
The Shiv Sena, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, as well as some BJP members had been strongly opposing the move to hand over the finance ministry to Ajit Pawar
Ending the two-week-long impasse, Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde finally reshuffled and expanded his cabinet, entrusting the crucial Finance Department to the new second Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, at Mumbai on Friday, July 14.
As per an official announcement, Ajit Pawar of the breakaway Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) group got the Finance and Planning Departments despite strong reservations from the ruling Shiv Sena members and even murmurs from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Other NCP leaders who have been given new responsibilities are Chhagan Bhujbal (Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection); and Dilip Walse-Patil (Cooperation); and Hasan M. Mushrif (Medical Education and Special Assistance).
Also Read: Making sense of the NCP split
Shinde will be responsible for the following departments: General Administration, Urban Development, Information and Technology, Information and Public Relations, Transport, Social Justice, Environment and Climate Change, Mining, and other departments not assigned to any specific minister.
The other BJP Deputy CM, Devendra Fadnavis, will be responsible for the following departments: Home, Law and Judiciary, Water Resources and Irrigation Development, Energy, and Parliamentary Affairs.
Similarly, Dharmarao Baba Bhagwantrao Atram got the Food and Drug Administration, Dhananjay P. Munde — Agriculture, Anil Patil Relief and Rehabilitation, Disaster Management.
The sole woman in the cabinet was Aditi Sunil Tatkare, who got the Women & Child Development.
The reshuffling of portfolios saw Devendra Fadnavis (Finance and Planning), Girish Mahajan (Medical Education), Atul Save (Cooperation), Mangal Prabhat Lodha (Women and Child Welfare), Ravindra Chavan (Food and Civil Supplies) losing these departments. While on Shiv Sena’s front, Ekanth Shinde (Relief and Rehabilitation), Sanjay Rathod (Food and Drug Administration), Abdul Sattar (Agri) lost their departments.
The much-awaited allocation of portfolios came two weeks after the NCP split on June 30, and Ajit Pawar and his team joined the Shinde-Fadnavis cabinet on July 2, though the proposal to expand the ministry has been put on hold for now.
With agency inputs
Published: 14 Jul 2023, 5:11 PM