Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appointed former minister and Shiv Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar as the chief coordinator in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) Tuesday. It is the first time that such a post has been created in the Maharashtra CMO.
Sources said Waikar will have a cabinet minister’s rank and handle public grievances.
“A large number of people come to meet the chief minister with their grievances, complaints and to give the memorandums. So, to receive and take appropriate action on it, an experienced and senior person was required for the post. Hence, a decision has been taken to appoint Waikar (to the post),” an official said.
On November 28, Thackeray took oath as Chief Minister of the tri-party alliance government of Sena, NCP and Congress in the state. Sources said that Thackeray, after taking over the reins, had been contemplating to appoint a person for effective coordination in his office.
“Since Uddhav ji became the chief minister, who does not have any administrative experience, it was under consideration to appoint a person, who will assist him to reduce his burden,” a Sena minister said. The minister added that Waikar will also coordinate with MLAs and MPs for their issues.
Waikar, third-term MLA from Jogeshwari (East), was a Minister of State for Housing and Higher and Technical Education in the previous BJP-led government. Sources said, Waikar was upset over his non-induction into the Thackeray cabinet and was pacified with the post.
In the winter session of the state assembly, Thackeray had announced that the CMOs would be set up at six divisional offices and district level in an effort to decentralise power and ensure people from rural areas don’t have to travel all the way to Mumbai with their problems.
“Waikar will also coordinate with all these offices for effective implementation of issues,” an official said.
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