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In the second such exercise in four days, the Prithviraj Chavan-led Congress-NCP ministry in Maharashtra was expanded here on Monday with the induction of two Congress ministers.
Amit Deshmukh, son of party veteran late Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Abdul Sattar, also from Marathwada region, were inducted into the ministry. While Sattar was sworn in as a cabinet minister, Deshmukh was sworn in as a minister of state.
Governor K Sankaranarayanan administered the oath of office to Deshmukh and Sattar at Raj Bhavan, an hour ahead of the start of the monsoon session of the state legislature.
While Deshmukh hails from Latur, Sattar belongs to Sillod in Aurangabad and is known to be a close associate of former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who won the recent Lok Sabha polls from Nanded in Marathwada region.
Monday’s swearing-in was preceded by confusion over a similar exercise slated on Sunday for which the protocol department had issued a communication. However, the department issued another communication on Sunday afternoon saying the ceremony was being kept on hold.
The chief minister later sought to play down the incident, claiming that no invitations were sent for any oath taking ceremony on Sunday.
Last week, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad, who hails from neighbouring Thane, was inducted as a cabinet minister. Chavan, who held talks with party leadership in Delhi on Sunday, returned to Mumbai in the evening and met the governor in the night paving the way for Monday’s swearing-in ceremony.