Victorious city MLAs set their sights on the Cabinet

Having registered a thumping victory in the Assembly elections, the city’s new MLAs now aspire to Cabinet positions in the first-ever BJP-led government in the state

With a landslide victory for the BJP in Pune, the city’s newly elected MLAs have now set their sight on lucrative Cabinet portfolios in what will be the first-ever BJP-led government in Maharashtra. If sources are to be believed, at least two MLAs from the city could be offered ministry positions in the State.

Girish Bapat
BRIGHTER FUTURE? Having been elected as MLA for the fifth-time from Kasba Peth, Girish Bapat seemed in a good mood after his victory was declared on Sunday. There could be more celebration on the cards, as he is tipped to be a likely minister of state or even Speaker of the House. File pic

So far, there have been very few MLAs from Pune who have risen to become ministers of state (MOS). Shreepad Dhekane, BJP spokesperson for western Maharashtra, said, “The Congress-NCP regime had always done injustice with Pune by not giving a single ministry to city MLAs in several years, except Ramesh Bagwe (Congress) who was a minister of state (Home Affairs) for some time. This will certainly change, and Pune will definitely get adequate representation in the new government.”

According to sources, senior MLA Girish Bapat, who won his fifth term from Kasba Peth, tops the list of those who shall receive important responsibility in the new government. Considering his experience, he could also become Speaker of the House.

Another senior party MLA, Madhuri Misal, who won in Parvati with the highest ever margin in the city — 69,090 votes — is also a probable minister in the upcoming cabinet. Misal did not hesitate in disclosing her ambitions. “If asked by the party, who wouldn’t like to enter the cabinet?” she said.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given opportunity to many young faces at the Centre, if the State replicates that model, first-time MLAs Medha Kulkarni (Kothrud) and Yogesh Tilekar (Hadapsar) also have a good chance of becoming ministers.

Both Misal (Parvati) and Kulkarni (Kothrud) hold posts as BJP state secretaries, and according to sources, both
have equal chances of joining the Cabinet.

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