Devendra Fadnavis expands ministry, 11 sworn in, Uddhav Thackeray skips ceremony

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today expanded his council of ministers, inducting 11 ministers, including 10 new faces, in the exercise which left Shiv Sena unhappy as it was denied a Cabinet berth.


Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Unlike in the Union Cabinet reshuffle, where Shiv Sena was ignored, Fadnavis inducted two legislators from the bickering ally as Ministers of State. The BJP, however, did not oblige the demand for a Cabinet berth from Sena whose chief Uddhav Thackeray was conspicuous by his absence at the swearing-in ceremony held at Raj Bhawan here this morning.

Six legislators were sworn-in as Cabinet ministers, including Ram Shinde who was elevated to the rank. He was earlier Minister of State for Home (rural). Sena MLAs Arjun Khotkar, from Jalna in Marathwada region, and Gulabrao Patil, from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra, were inducted in the ministry as junior ministers.

Patil hails from former BJP minister Eknath Khadse's home turf Jalgaon, while Khotkar belongs to Jalna, the native district of state BJP president Raosaheb Danve. BJP's pre-poll alliance partners Swabhimani Party and Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP) also found berth with the swearing-in of Sadabhau Khot and Mahadev Jankar, respectively. Jankar took oath as Cabinet minister.

The BJP legislators sworn-in as Cabinet ministers include former state party president Pandurang Fundkar, Dondaicha (Dhule) MLA Jaykumar Rawal, Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar from Nilanga and Solapur MLA Subhash Deshmukh.

BJP legislators Ravindra Chavan and Madan Yerawar were sworn in as Ministers of State. The other five, including two of Shiv Sena, two of BJP and one of another alliance partner, were sworn-in as MoS.

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