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Maharashtra: Uddhav allocates portfolios to new ministers, Ajit Pawar gets Finance, Aaditya Tourism

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar has got the finance and planning department while party colleague Anil Deshmukh is the state’s new Home minister, a senior official said on Sunday.

Besides, first-time Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray, who is the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has been given charge of the environment, tourism and protocol departments, he said.

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 undertakings, the official added.

NCP’s former leader of opposition in state Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde has got the social justice department while party leader Jitendra Awhad has been given housing.

With this allocation of portfolios, the Sharad Pawar- led NCP has got most of the ‘plum’ ministries.

There were speculations that either Ajit Pawar or Jayant Patil of the NCP would get the Home department, but the portfolio has been allocated to their party colleague Anil Deshmukh, the MLA from Katol in Nagpur district of Vidarbha.

The chief minister has kept the general administration department (GAD), information and technology, and law and judiciary departments with himself.

The urban development department has been allocated to Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, who will also hold charge of PWD (public undertakings).

Senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai has got industries and mineral departments, while party leader Anil Parab got the transport and parliamentary affairs departments.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday approved the list of portfolios as proposed by the chief minister, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson earlier said.

The list of portfolios to be allocated to ministers was sent to the governor on Saturday evening.

Among the NCP ministers, Chhagan Bhujbal got the food and civil supplies, and consumer protection departments, Nawab Malik- minority development, Waqf Board, skill development and entrepreneurship, Dilip Walse Patil- Excise and labour, Jayant Patil- water resources development and command area development, and Rajendra Shingane- food and drug administration (FDA).

Besides, NCP’s Rajesh Tope has been allocated public health and family welfare departments, Hasan Mushrif- rural development, and Balasaheb Patil- cooperation and marketing.

From the Shiv Sena, Dadaji Bhuse has got agriculture and ex-servicemen welfare departments, Sandipan Bhumare- EGS and horticulture, Gulabrao Patil- water supply and sanitation, Sanjay Rathod- forest, relief and rehabilitation, and disaster management, and Uday Samant- higher and technical education.

Among the Congress ministers, Yashomati Thakur has been allocated women and child development department, Varsha Gaikwad- school education department, Sunil Kedar- animal husbandry and dairy development, youth and sports welfare, Vijay Wadettiwar- OBC welfare and salt land development, Amit Deshmukh- medical education and culture, K C Padvi- tribal development, and Aslam Shaikh- textile, fisheries and port development.

Besides, Cabinet minister Shankarrao Gadakh (Independent MLA) got soil and water conservation department.

Among Ministers of State (MoS) from the NCP, Dattatray Bharne has got PWD, forest, animal husbandry and GAD, Sanjay Bansode- environment, drinking water and sanitation, Prajakt Tanpure- urban development, power, tribal development, and Aditi Tatkare- industries, tourism, horticulture and sports.

Shiv Sena’s MoS Shambhuraj Desai got Home-rural, finance and planning, and Excise, while Abdul Sattar got revenue, rural development, port and salt land development.

Among the Congress’ MoS, Vishwajeet Kadam got cooperation and agriculture departments, while Satej Patil got Home-urban, transport, IT and ex-servicemen welfare.

Besides, MoS Rajendra Yadravkar (Independent MLA) has got medical education, public health and family welfare, while Bachchu Kadu (also Independent legislator) got water resources department, school education and OBC welfare.

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, had been facing criticism from the opposition BJP for delay in the allocation of portfolios despite being in power for over a month now.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as chief minister on November 28 along with six ministers, two each from his party, NCP and Congress.

The Cabinet was expanded on December 30 with the induction of 36 ministers.