Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar is likely to retain the finance and energy portfolios, which he also held before his resignation as deputy chief minister in September over allegations of corruption in various irrigation projects in the state.
Sources close to Pawar said he wanted to continue with the two portfolios which he had chosen when he became deputy CM in 2010. Pawar resumed the post after the white paper on irrigation was released. However, he is currently a minister without a portfolio and this led to speculation in NCP circles that the party leadership would go in for a reshuffle in portfolios soon after the winter session.
There was also speculation that Pawar would take up the influential home department, headed by NCP’s RR Patil, to enforce his authority over the government. However, sources close to Pawar refuted this.
“Ajitdada chose not to take any portfolio because the two NCP ministers who had been given additional charge of the finance and energy portfolios had made preparations to face questions and debates over the departments during the winter session. It would be unjust to waste their efforts,” sources said.
Rural development minister Jayant Patil has been given the additional charge of finance, while
higher education minister Rajesh Tope is holding charge of the energy department. However, Pawar detractors in the party said he did not want to face any questions or grilling by the Opposition during the session so he let the two ministers hold additional charge till the end of the session.