Nearly a month after Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as Chief Minister following a spectacular political drama, the Maharashtra cabinet was expanded to induct new ministers on Monday. The delay was owing to internal disputes regarding allocation of portfolios among MLAs of Maha Vikas Aghadi (the Shiv Sena – NCP – Congress coalition). Before expansion, the government had six ministers apart from the CM, two each from the three allying parties. Maharashtra state Governor BS Koshyari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers.
Aaditya Thackeray, the CM’s son took oath as Cabinet Minister along with 35 others at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Monday afternoon. NCP’s Ajit Pawar is Deputy CM for a record fourth time. He had also taken oath along with Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) last month when the latter had to resign within eighty hours on November 26, 2019 due to lack of enough numbers to prove majority. The BJP-SS alliance had collapsed after disagreements in power-sharing formula.
Former CM Ashok Chavan, Varsha Gaikwad, Yashomati Thakur, Amit Deshmukh, Aslam Shaikh, KC Padvi and Vijay Vadettiwar were ministers inducted into the cabinet from Congress.
The NCP ministers include Dhananjay Munde, Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik, Balasaheb Patil and Jitendra Awhad among others.
Shiv Sena retained the CM position along with 14 other ministerial positions given to Aaditya Thackeray, Uday Samant, Anil Parab, Dada Bhuse, to name a few.
The Home portfolio has been allocated to the NCP. The Congress is eyeing other key portfolios. All portfolios are yet to be announced.
Despite the strong influence of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray on the politics in Maharashtra, he never held a ministerial position. This is the first time a father and son are a part of the cabinet in Maharashtra. Is the Shiv Sena walking on the footsteps of its now ally Congress in terms of nepotism?.