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Former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane,whose suspension from the Congress was revoked recently,was on Thursday inducted into the two-month-old Ashok Chavan led Congress-NCP Government.
Rane and two others,both from the Congress,were sworn in by Governor S C Jamir at Raj Bhawan.
Others who took oath were Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Naseem Khan. While Rane and Vikhe-Patil were sworn in as Cabinet ministers,Khan took oath as minister of state.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan,Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal,MPCC president Manikrao Thakre and several other ministers attended the swearing-in ceremony.
There was speculation that the fourth vacant spot in the ministry would also be filled up but there was no unanimity over the candidate,Congress sources said.
Throughout the day,names doing the rounds included those of former MPCC chief Govindrao Adik and Dilip Deshmukh,brother of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. However,Vikhe-Patil,who also hails from Adik’s Ahmednagar district,pipped the party veteran to the post.
The induction of Khan,who represents the Kurla Assembly seat,will send a positive signal to minority voters in the city,the sources added.
Rane served as Chief Minister during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in the 90s. Vikhe-Patil,son of former Union minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil,was also a member of the Sena-BJP ministry.