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Maharashtra: Fadnavis swings into action, says will review Cong-NCP decisions

Devendra Fadnavis said the allocation of portfolios would be done on Saturday, with the home and finance departments most likely to stay with him. Uddhav's 'respectable deal' demand stays

india Updated: Nov 01, 2014 16:51 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Devendra-Phadnavis-takes-oath-as-chief-minister-of-Maharashtra-at-the-swearing-in-ceremony-at-Wankhede-Stadium-in-Mumbai--Anshuman-Poyrekar-HT-photo
Devendra-Phadnavis-takes-oath-as-chief-minister-of-Maharashtra-at-the-swearing-in-ceremony-at-Wankhede-Stadium-in-Mumbai--Anshuman-Poyrekar-HT-photo

Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the state’s 27th chief minister along with nine ministers – seven cabinet rank and two junior – in a grand ceremony at the Wankhede stadium on Friday. The 44-year-old four-time MLA from Nagpur is the second youngest chief minister of Maharashtra and the first leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take up the state’s top job.

The new chief minister swung into action almost immediately after assuming charge, saying his government would ensure transparency and bring in a law to ensure an effective service mechanism for the people. “People want their work done without any delay. We will bring in a law under which the government (officers and other staffers) would deliver service as quickly as possible,” Fadnavis said during his first media interaction after being sworn in as chief minister.

The CM said he would also review decisions taken by the former government, as it involved expenditure of more than Rs 52,000 crore. “If we were to execute these schemes, we will need to raise loans to finance them. We will examine how feasible these decisions are,” he said.

Fadnavis said the allocation of portfolios would be done on Saturday, with the home and finance departments most likely to stay with him.

Earlier, Fadnavis and his nine ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, with the 40,000-50,000-strong crowd cheering each time a leader was sworn in. The glittering ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, senior party leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, chief ministers of other BJP-ruled states, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, India Inc bigwigs and Bollywood celebrities, among others.

However, the surprise package of the afternoon was Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who was present with wife Rashmi and party MP Vinayak Raut, after having decided on Thursday to boycott the event. Uddhav was cajoled into making an appearance by Fadnavis and Union minister Arun Jaitley, with both speaking to the former earlier in the day.

Signalling a breakthrough in talks between the two parties, Shah had a meeting with Uddhav immediately after the ceremony.

Currently, the BJP has formed a minority government with 121 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly. The party has claimed to have support of 16 more legislators – a few independents and others from small parties. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with its 41 MLAs has extended outside support to the government. If the Sena comes on board with its 63 MLAs, the government would not have any trouble in proving its majority on the floor of the House and won’t need the NCP’s backing. The session of the state Assembly is likely to be held between November 10 and 12, in which the Fadnavis government will table the trust vote.

The NCP, meanwhile, made its presence felt on Friday at the Wankhede, with its senior leaders, barring party chief Sharad Pawar, sharing the dais with the BJP leaders.

The BJP’s strategy for the future seemed clearer, with the party ensuring regional and social balance while picking the nine ministers who took charge on Friday. Fadnavis being a Brahmin, there are two Marathas in his team – Chandrakant Patil from western Maharashtra and Vinod Tawde from Mumbai. Patil, a close aide Shah, is expected to work as the party chief’s link with the state government.

While Eknath Khadse is a Leva Patil, from north Maharashtra, Sudhir Munganttiwar is from Chandrapur, Vidarbha, and Pankaja Munde, daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, will be the BJP’s other backward class (OBC) face in the government.

Mumbai was given representation through Prakash Mehta, the face of BJP’s dedicated vote bank of Gujaratis; and Vidya Thakur, a north Indian from Goregaon.

Vishnu Savra, a leader from the tribal community in Thane, was also sworn in, along with Dilip Kamble, a Dalit leader from Pune.

The initial team of nine ministers has two women. The BJP said the team would be expanded after the trust vote is passed by the government. The bigger team would have leaders from the Shiv Sena, if the party joins the government, and other smaller allies.Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the state’s 27th chief minister along with nine ministers – seven cabinet rank and two junior – in a grand ceremony at the Wankhede stadium on Friday. The 44-year-old four-time MLA from Nagpur is the second youngest chief minister of Maharashtra and the first leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take up the state’s top job.

The new chief minister swung into action almost immediately after assuming charge, saying his government would ensure transparency and bring in a law to ensure an effective service mechanism for the people. “People want their work done without any delay. We will bring in a law under which the government (officers and other staffers) would deliver service as quickly as possible,” Fadnavis said during his first media interaction after being sworn in as chief minister.

The CM said he would also review decisions taken by the former government, as it involved expenditure of more than Rs52,000 crore. “If we were to execute these schemes, we will need to raise loans to finance them. We will examine how feasible these decisions are,” he said.

Fadnavis said the allocation of portfolios would be done on Saturday, with the home and finance departments most likely to stay with him.

Earlier, Fadnavis and his nine ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, with the 40,000-50,000-strong crowd cheering each time a leader was sworn in. The glittering ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, senior party leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, chief ministers of other BJP-ruled states, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, India Inc bigwigs and Bollywood celebrities, among others.

However, the surprise package of the afternoon was Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who was present with wife Rashmi and party MP Vinayak Raut, after having decided on Thursday to boycott the event. Uddhav was cajoled into making an appearance by Fadnavis and Union minister Arun Jaitley, with both speaking to the former earlier in the day.

Signalling a breakthrough in talks between the two parties, Shah had a meeting with Uddhav immediately after the ceremony.

Currently, the BJP has formed a minority government with 121 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly. The party has claimed to have support of 16 more legislators – a few independents and others from small parties. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with its 41 MLAs has extended outside support to the government. If the Sena comes on board with its 63 MLAs, the government would not have any trouble in proving its majority on the floor of the House and won’t need the NCP’s backing. The session of the state Assembly is likely to be held between November 10 and 12, in which the Fadnavis government will table the trust vote.

The NCP, meanwhile, made its presence felt on Friday at the Wankhede, with its senior leaders, barring party chief Sharad Pawar, sharing the dais with the BJP leaders.

The BJP’s strategy for the future seemed clearer, with the party ensuring regional and social balance while picking the nine ministers who took charge on Friday. Fadnavis being a Brahmin, there are two Marathas in his team – Chandrakant Patil from western Maharashtra and Vinod Tawde from Mumbai. Patil, a close aide Shah, is expected to work as the party chief’s link with the state government.

While Eknath Khadse is a Leva Patil, from north Maharashtra, Sudhir Munganttiwar is from Chandrapur, Vidarbha, and Pankaja Munde, daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, will be the BJP’s other backward class (OBC) face in the government.

Mumbai was given representation through Prakash Mehta, the face of BJP’s dedicated vote bank of Gujaratis; and Vidya Thakur, a north Indian from Goregaon.

Vishnu Savra, a leader from the tribal community in Thane, was also sworn in, along with Dilip Kamble, a Dalit leader from Pune.

The initial team of nine ministers has two women. The BJP said the team would be expanded after the trust vote is passed by the government. The bigger team would have leaders from the Shiv Sena, if the party joins the government, and other smaller allies.