Pune’s seniormost BJP MLA Girish Bapat, who was hopeful of a cabinet berth, will have to wait till the next list is announced while the mega function of the chief minister’s swearing-in ceremony saw Pune MLA Dilip Kamble bag a berth after the first announcement of cabinet posts.
The function at Wankhede was attended by all MLAs from Pune. The BJP city office had nearly 5000 passes for the function. Bapat who attended the function said that he was hopeful that he would figure in the next announcement. “Before the session starts on November 9-11, the party would have to expand their cabinet and I will wait and watch,” said Bapat. With him being the seniorMost member, the party supporters are of the opinion that Bapat will definitely get a cabinet berth but there were also rumours of the party being keen on Bapat becoming the speaker.
“I have not been told anything about any post and I will wait for the party’s decision,” said Bapat who has been elected for the fifth time from the Kasba Peth Assembly constituency.
With the exception of MLA Dilip Kamble, no other Pune MLA figured in the first list which saw the key leaders— Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Pankaja Munde getting cabinet berths.
The others include former Mumbai BJP president Prakash Mehta, tribal leader from Palghar district Vishnu Sawra and Chandrakant Patil. Vidya Thakur, too, was sworn in as minister of state.
A party member said that the sulking Sena had caused the delay in the announcement of other names. It was only after BJP president Amit Shah invited Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that he consented to attend the swearing-in function.