Vikhe Patil, the former leader of opposition in the state Assembly, and ex-NCP leader Jaydutt Kshirsagar, who joined the Shiv Sena recently, were sworn in as cabinet ministers on Sunday. Mumbai BJP chief Shelar was also inducted into the cabinet.
Shelar, the former chairman of Mumbai Cricket Association, was earlier seen as a strong contender for the cabinet post, specially after the BJP's tally in the local civic body rose from 33 to 83 under his leadership during the 2017 municipal polls.
For the first time, a leader from the Republic Party of India (Athawale), Avinash Mahatekar, was inducted into the Fadnavis government as a junior minister.
RPI(A) chief and Rajya Sabha member Ramdas Athawale is currently a minister of state in NDA government at the Centre.
Vikhe Patil, Kshirsagar and Mahatekar, who currently are not members of any House of the state legislature, can hold ministerial charge for six months.
According to the rules they have to get elected in the state legislature within these six months. But since the state polls are due in September-October, these ministers can stay on their posts till end of this Assembly's tenure.
Suresh Khade, Sanjay Kute, Anil Bonde and Ashok Uike of the BJP and Tanaji Sawant of the Shiv Sena also took oath as cabinet ministers.
Among them, Sawant is the only cabinet member who is a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) while the others are MLAs.
Besides, BJP's Yogesh Sagar, Sanjay alias Bala Bhegade, Parinay Phuke and Atul Save were inducted as MoS. While Phuke is an MLC, the others are members of the Lower House.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Housing Minister Prakash Mehta and five other ministers quit their posts, an official in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.
Besides Mehta, the others who resigned as ministers are Rajkumar Badole, Vishnu Sawra, Dilip Kamble, Praveen Pote and Amrish Atram. The chief minister has accepted their resignations, the official added.
The Devendra Fadnavis government took charge in November 2014, but the Sena did not join the government at that time.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party joined the government in December that year during the first cabinet expansion. The second expansion of the cabinet was held in July, 2016.
A vacancy was created in 2018 when then state agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar died. The portfolio was subsequently being handled by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.
Earlier this year, then health minister Deepak Sawant also resigned and the department was being looked after by Eknath Shinde, who is also the PWD minister.
Parliamentary Affairs and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat resigned after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Pune. His portfolios were till now being shared by Education Minister Vinod Tawde and Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.