Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Saturday allocated portfolios to the newly inducted ministers with his party BJP clearly having an upper hand by retaining the top seven departments such as home, urban development, finance, revenue, water resources and energy.
Despite pressure, the chief minister has retained the most critical home department with himself along with urban development, which the Shiv Sena was vying for during power-sharing talks.
The Sena, following a hard bargain, appears to have settled for industry, public works department (MSRDC), health, environment and transport.
The BJP stood its ground by scrapping the deputy chief minister’s post. The party’s offer of energy portfolio was turned down as the Sena preferred transport and industries.
Senior BJP leader Girish Bapat has been entrusted with the departments of food and civil supplies, food and drug administration and parliamentary affairs.
The water resources portfolio, which had been controversial following alleged irrigation scams, has been given to senior MLA Girish Mahajan.
The big budget department of social justice has gone to Rajkumar Badole and water supply and sanitation to Babanrao Lonikar.
From the Shiv Sena, Subash Desai has got industries, Eknath Shinde PWD (MSRDC, Public Undertaking), Ramdas Kadam environment, while Deepak Sawant, a doctor by profession, has been given health and family welfare. Diwakar Raote has been given transport ministry.
On Friday, 20 ministers, 10 each from BJP and Shiv Sena, took the oath of office. Of these, 10 are Cabinet-rank ministers while 10 hold Ministers of State rank.
Some of the changes included taking away industries portfolio from Prakash Mehta of the BJP and handing it to Subash Desai of the Shiv Sena.
Mehta has been given housing, mining and labour.
“The BJP has also agreed to accommodate Anil Desia at the Centre with a cabinet rank or minister of state (independent) rank,” a senior Sena leader said.
At present, the total strength of the Fadnavis cabinet is 30, which includes 18 cabinet ministers and 12 ministers of state.