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Guess what Maharashtra ministers want

This may come as a surprise to those who thought that ministers are only finicky about portfolios.

mumbai Updated: Nov 13, 2009 00:18 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

This may come as a surprise to those who thought that ministers are only finicky about portfolios.

They are equally concerned about getting a cabin of their choice. It has to be on the right floor — to match the minister’s stature — with Vastu-compliant doors opening in the right direction.

The General Administration Department (GAD), which is responsible for allotting cabins to Maharashtra ministers, has received 13 requests from ministers for specific cabins.

Thirty-eight of the 44 cabins available were allotted on Thursday. Five are vacant for the Congress ministers yet to be sworn in.

“We try to allot cabins according to the rule. Ministers of State (MoS) get smaller cabins between 900 and 1,000 square feet while Cabinet ministers get cabins that are between 1,400-1,500 square feet big,” senior government official on request of anonymity.

“We do receive requests, which we try to respect, but the list get finalised by the Chief Minister.” The allocation has managed to ruffle a few feathers.

Environment Minister Suresh Shetty (Congress), who had asked for the cabin he used as minister of state for higher education on the seventh floor, was brought down to the first floor.

“I liked the seventh floor since the numbers of people loitering about were lesser and people with specific work came to me,” said Shetty.

First time minister Varsha Gaikwad who will be MoS for medical education had asked for a cabin on the third floor but has been given one on the sixth floor.

Senior ministers Jayant Patil, Sunil Tatkare and Patangrao Kadam have got cabins of their choice--same cabins they occupied earlier.

Finance Minister Tatkare had got his cabin changed from number 230 to 214. “I did not ask for any specific number. The previous minister sat there and it works better to sit near the department,” said Tatkare.