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Maharashtra: Ajit Pawar becomes Deputy CM; 35 ministers sworn in today

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on December 30, 2019 Published on December 30, 2019

Ajit Pawar

Aaditya Thackeray gets cabinet rank

 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expanded his cabinet on Monday. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy of Thackeray. Uddhav Thackeray’s 29-year-old son Aaditya joined his father as a Cabinet Minister.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered oath to ministers in Mumbai.

Just a month ago Ajit Pawar had defected from the party to take oath as deputy of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. However, Pawar had to return to the party fold after his revolt turned damp squib due lack of support by NCP MLAs. Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar who were sworn in by Maharashtra governor early morning on November 23 had to resign within 80 hours as they had no number to prove the majority.

NCP insiders said that Sharad Pawar has shouldered the responsibility as Deputy CM to his maverick nephew to keep party fold intact and ensure the government’s stability. Shiv Sena and senior NCP leaders were keen that NCP State President Jayant Patil get Deputy CM post. However, Patil clarified that he was not in competition with Ajit Pawar.

Son rise in Shiv Sena

29-year -old Aaditya is the first from the Thackeray family to contest elections and the first one to become the cabinet minister. His father Uddhav who took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister last month is not yet a member of the State Legislative Assembly or State Legislative Council.

 

Aaditya Thackeray

 

Since Uddhav took charge as Chief Minister, Aaditya has been accompanying him in all important meetings at Mantralya. Sena insiders said that Aaditya will act as Uddhav’s shadow and also take the reins of the party. A History graduate from St. Xaviers and law degree holder from KC Law College, Aaditya is a poet and photographer. He got elected from Worli Assembly Constituency in Mumbai. By his inclusion in the cabinet, Uddhav has sent a message that Thackeray junior would be very much active in electoral politics in future unlike Bal Thackeray, who preferred to play a role of remote control to run the government.

Interestingly, the father and son holding power positions has not gone down well in the party. Sena circles were abuzz with discussions of unhappy MLAs who expected their inclusion in the cabinet.

42 member cabinet

35 ministers sworn in on Monday include 25 Cabinet and 10 of Minister of State rank.

Six ministers had taken the oath on November 28 along with Uddhav Thackeray. With today's expansion the strength of Thackeray ministry is 42 including the Chief Minister.

Interestingly, half of the ministers in the cabinet come from political dynasties. Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan took oath as cabinet minister while his counterpart Prithviraj Chavan was kept out of the ministry. Congress sources said that Prithviraj would take charge as State Congress President.

Meanwhile the BJP decided to boycott the oath ceremony function alleging that the Thackeray government had not kept its promise of complete loan waiver to farmers.

Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance proved its majority in the State Assembly on November 30 with 169 members out of 288 members voting for the government. BJP has 105 members in the House

Published on December 30, 2019
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