11 ministers inducted in Maharashtra Cabinet; Shiv Sena miffed

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Devendra FadnavisMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on July 8 expanded his ministry by inducting 11 ministers, 10 of them new faces.

The Fadnavis government filled up those portfolios which had fallen vacant after senior minister Eknath Khadse resigned over corruption charges last month.

The glittering swearing-in ceremony was held at Raj Bhawan. Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray was conspicuous by his absence. Political experts say that the Sena chief was miffed as Fadnavis was not ready to give into Thackeray’s demand of elevating existing Sena MoS as cabinet ministers.

Among the 10 new faces were Shiv Sena MLAs, Arjun Khotkar and Gulabrao Patil who took the oath as junior ministers.

It may be noted that Thackeray was angry when Shiv Sena MPs did not find any place in the Modi reshuffle. So in a  move to mollify its partner, political experts said, he expected the BJP to give it more space in the State Cabinet. 

Former state party president Pandurang Fundkar, Dondaicha (Dhule) MLA Jaykumar Rawal, Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar from Nilanga and Solapur MLA Subhash Deshmukh were sworn in as Cabinet ministers.

BJP’s pre-poll alliance partners Swabhimani Party and Rashtriya Samaj Party representatives Sadabhau Khot and Mahadev Jankar were also sworn in as ministers. BJP MLAs Ravindra Chavan and Madan Yerawar were also inducted as Ministers of State. Ram Shinde, who was earlier MoS for Home (rural), was elevated to the rank of cabinet minister.