Mumbai: Vote bank makes its mark at Vidhan Bhavan swearing-in

Both the BJP and the Shiv Sena seem to have catered to their vote banks and looked at political equations while nominating members to the Fadnavis cabinet; while BJP nominated five from Vidarbha, Sena sent the same number from Mumbai

It seems that rather than looking for the best person for each ministry, the BJP and its new-old ally Shiv Sena have focussed on politics and making their vote banks happy while choosing the ministers that were sworn in yesterday.

As opposition members, Shiv Sena MLAs Eknath Shinde (circled, left) and Ravindra Waikar (circled, right) were at the forefront of the protest which also saw the governor being heckled against the way the BJP had conducted the trust vote on November 12. File pic
As opposition members, Shiv Sena MLAs Eknath Shinde (circled, left) and Ravindra Waikar (circled, right) were at the forefront of the protest which also saw the governor being heckled against the way the BJP had conducted the trust vote on November 12. File pic

Both parties, which got to induct 10 new ministers each, have catered to specific regions which are either their strongholds, or where they want to regain a foothold.

Shinde being sworn in as a cabinet minister yesterday. Waikar was sworn in as a minister of state. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Shinde being sworn in as a cabinet minister yesterday. Waikar was sworn in as a minister of state. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

While the BJP chose to pick up five faces from its stronghold Vidarbha, from where 44 of its candidates got elected as MLAs, the Sena signalled its intent to shore up its fortunes in Mumbai, where the BJP had emerged as the number one party during the last elections, with 15 of its candidates making it as MLAs.

With this in mind, and with an eye on the 2017 BMC polls, the Sena went with five faces from Mumbai and surprisingly gave no representation to its bastion of Marathwada.

Bargaining chip
Eyebrows were raised when Sena leader Subhash Desai, who lost party bastion Goregaon to BJP’s minister of state Vidya Thakur, entered the state cabinet. Now, he will have to take help of the BJP to enter the state council.

Sources said that to be able to offer a ministerial berth to Desai, Sena had to compromise on the number of ministers and certain portfolios it wanted.

Interestingly, while Thakur is an MoS In the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet, Desai, who lost to her, is going to have cabinet rank. As per norms, Desai will have to become a member of either house the legislative assembly or council within six months. Since no Sena MLA will resign for him, he will have to make it through a by-election to the state council.

Magnanimous BJP?
Four vacancies in the legislative council due to resignations of ex-CM Prithviraj Chavan, Minister Vinod Tawde, Ashish Shelar (all three of whom are MLAs) and disqualification of Shiv Sangram’s Vinayak Mete are set to go in BJP’s favour as it is the single largest party in the state. According to sources, BJP has decided to offer one of these seats each to Sena (for Subhash Desai), RPI (A) and Shiv Sangram (for Vinayak Mete). The party will retain just one seat for its nominee.

Sena appointees
Mumbai
Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote
Dr Deepak Sawant, Ramdas Kadam, Ravindra Waikar
Thane
Eknath Shinde
Konkan
Deepak Kesarkar
Vidarbha 
Sanjay Rathod
North Maharashtra 
Dada Bhuse
Western Maharashtra 
Vijay Shivatare

BJP appointees
Vidarbha
Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Rajkumar Badole,
Ambarish Maharaj Atram, Ranjit Patil,
Pravin Pote Patil 
Western Maharashtra 
Girish Bapat
Ram Shinde 
Vijaykumar Deshmukh 
North Maharashtra 
Girish Mahajan 
Marathwada 
Babanrao Yadav Lonikar

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