Fadnavis ministry expansion sees mix of old and new faces

The BJP and Shiv Sena leaders who were sworn in today during the expansion of Devendra Fadnavis ministry include some who have been ministers in the past and some new faces.

Girish Bapat, a sixth term BJP MLA from Kasba Peth in Pune, was chairman of the MSRTC in 1999. He was a corporator in Pune for three terms.

Girish Mahajan, BJP MLA from Jamner in Jalgaon, began his political career as a sarpanch. He is a fifth term MLA.

Diwakar Raote of Shiv Sena, who paid tributes to the late party supremo Bal Thackeray while taking the oath today, was a minister during Sena-BJP rule of 1995-99. He is also a former Mumbai mayor; currently he is a member of legislative council.

Subhash Desai of Sena who lost in the recent Assembly polls is known as a trusted aide of party chief Uddhav Thackeray and was an MLA for four terms. He was Sena's point man during the talks with BJP over power sharing.

Ramdas Kadam of Sena is an MLC who lost in 2009 Assembly polls. He was a minister of state during the earlier Sena-BJP rule. He was also the leader of opposition in Assembly after Narayan Rane left that party.

Eknath Shinde of Sena, a third term MLA and former corporator from Thane, was the leader of opposition in Assembly till this morning.

Chandrashekhar Bawankule of BJP is a third term MLA who represents Kamptee in Vidarbha. He is a former president of Nagpur rural unit of BJP.

Babanrao Lonikar of BJP, head of party's Jalna district unit, is a third term MLA. He is former president of BJP kisan morcha's state unit and represents Partur assembly seat.

Dr Deepak Sawant of Sena, who took oath paying tributes to the late Thackeray and his mother, is an MLC. He is a medical practitioner.

Rajkumar Badole from BJP is known as a staunch supporter of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. He is a second term MLA from Arjuni Morgaon in Bhandara; he worked with the state water resources department before joining politics.

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