Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday allocated portfolios to his ministers on Sunday which evoked mixed reactions from his team.
Fadnavis retained crucial the home and urban development departments and will also hold charge of departments such as housing, health, irrigation and energy that are not allocated to any ministers yet. Some departments given to the ministers could be reallocated to new entrants after expansion of the cabinet.
Senior minister Eknath Khadse has been given revenue and excise departments, along with agriculture. Another senior leader Sudhir Mungantiwar has been given the finance and planning portfolio along with forests.
While many CMs in the past have retained urban development with themselves,
Fadnavis’ decision to retain home is a significant one. After Sharad Pawar, who was CM in 1993-95, no CM retained home portfolio. In fact, under the power-sharing formula of coalition governments, the department always went to the party that did not have chief ministership.
Fadnavis also decided to merge several departments by bringing them under main portfolios. Vinod Tawde has been allocated all educated-related portfolios like the human resources development ministry at the Centre.
Chandrakant Patil, an RSS man and close aide of party chief Amit Shah, has been allocated the politically significant cooperation and agricultural marketing portfolio. He will also hold charge of public works and textiles departments. The move is being seen as BJP’s plan to challenge the dominance of Congress-NCP in the cooperative sector of the state.
Pankaja Munde, who has been vying for the key portfolio has been given the
responsibility of rural development, water conservation and women and child welfare departments.
The allocation was announced on Sunday after Governor C Vidyasagar Rao approved the list.
The allocation, however, made some ministers unhappy. Mungantiwar, for instance, was left fuming because he wanted home. “The ministers were not given choice, they were asked to accept what was offered to them as per the high command’s directives,” said a leader, requesting anonymity.