Newly sworn-in Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has decided to keep critical portfolios of home and urban development with him. He has also retained health and housing.
Springing a major surprise, the high-profile Vinod Tawde, who had declared himself to be the next Home Minister of the state during the election campaign, has been given education and cultural affairs portfolio. The department of Marathi Bhasha has also been assigned to him.
“What is required is a decision taken with conviction. If my intentions are noble, there will be nothing to fear. I have no personal agenda to pursue in the government. My policies will be for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra,” Fadnavis told mediapersons after announcing who got which portfolio.
The CM is likely to expand his cabinet after the state legislature session in the second week of November. Some of the important portfolios like irrigation, power have not been allotted to anyone. It seems that they have been set aside for Shiv Sena ministers when they formally join the government, possibly after Fadnavis wins the vote of confidence in the Assembly.
The portfolio allocation was held in consultation with BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, party sources said.
Senior leader Eknath Khadse, who was sulking for being denied the CM’s post, has been allocated revenue and excise, besides minorities development and wakf, agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries.
Another senior leader Sudhir Mungantiwar has been given finance and planning, and forest departments.
The decision to allocate revenue to Khadse and finance to Mungantiwar shows BJP central leadership signalling that the two leaders would be above Tawde in the cabinet.
Pankaja Munde has been allotted rural development and water conservation, besides women and child development.
Vishnu Savara has been allocated tribal development, social justice and special assistance.
The MLA from Ghatkopar (East), Prakash Mehta, has been given industries and mining, and parliamentary affairs. Chandrakant Patil, an MLC, has been given co-operation, marketing and textiles, and public works.
Minister of State Dilip Kamble has been allotted tribal development and social justice, while Vidya Thakur will be Pankaja Munde’s deputy.