Mumbai: It's just a month and seven days from November 23, when the entire country was in shock as Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis and Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister, respectively. That government lasted for just 80 hours.
This Monday, after 37 days, Ajit Pawar has again become Deputy Chief Minister, this time in Uddhav Thackeray's cabinet, with another 36 ministers. Interestingly, Uddhav's son Aaditya Thackeray too made his entry into the cabinet.
There was buzz that Shiv Sena would give more weightaage to its MLAs from Mumbai, with an eye on the elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council in 2022. These are very important elections for the Shiv Sena, as party is based in the city and surrounding areas. But only two ministries were given to Mumbai from the Sena’s quota.
NCP and Congress's names were predictable in the total 26 cabinet and 10 ministers of state who were sworn in on Monday.
On the other side, the Opposition boycotted the swearing in ceremony. It alleged that the loan waiver scheme declared by MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government was “cheating” of farmers and hence decided to boycott the ceremony. Meanwhile, Samjwadi Party, Peasants and Workers Party, and farm leader Raju Shetti among others publicly expressed their displeasure for not being invited for the swearing- in ceremony.
In the expanded cabinet, the NCP has got the highest number of berths at 12, and four Mos, the Sena has 10 cabinet berths and four MoS and the Congress also has 10 cabinet berths and two MoS, according to PTI.
After Monday’s expansion, the Maharashtra government now has a total of has 43 ministers, including the chief minister.
Among the Congress names, Ashok Chavan, a former CM, was sworn in but another senior leader, Prithviraj Chavan, did not find a place in the ministry.
Senior NCP leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh, who were ministers in the previous Congress-NCP government, also found place in the ministry.
Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers, and the size of the council of ministers cannot exceed 15% of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.
(with inputs from PTI)