United in power, divided in strategy

  • Dharmendra Jore and Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 06, 2014 00:33 IST

The BJP and the Shiv Sena handled the Cabinet expansion differently. While the BJP applied a tried-and-tested formula of balancing regional and social equations, the Sena relied heavily on the party chief’s inner circle.

The BJP ensured representation was given to all regions though it tilted heavily in favour of Vidarbha where it has the maximum number of legislators. Vidarbha, where the CM comes from, was given two Cabinet and three ministers of state posts.

The region already has a Cabinet member — finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The BJP chose the youngest minister (junior) Raje Ambarish Atram, 29, from Aheri in Gadchiroli. Many new ministers from the BJP are less than 50 years old.

Girish Mahajan (cabinet) and Ram Shinde (MoS) will represent north Maharashtra where revenue Eknath Khadse was the sole Cabinet member till Friday. Marathawada got one more Cabinet minister in late Gopinath Munde’s loyalist Babanrao Lonikar, a Maratha. The region already had Munde’s daughter Pankaja as Cabinet minister.

Two Maratha MLCs from western Vidarbha — Dr Ranjit Patil and Pravin Pote Patil — found places in the junior ranks. On the other hand, the Sena has three MLCs and it is expected to get one more in Subhash Desai, who isn’t a member of either house.

The BJP has ensured appeasement of various factions in the party and did not induct any turncoat. Western Maharashtra has been given a Brahmin, Girish Bapat (Cabinet, Pune) and a Lingayat, Vijay Deshmukh (MoS, Solapur).

According to senior Sena leaders, along with accommodating Uddhav’s close aides, is looking at urban-centric portfolios, considering the Mumbai and Thane corporation polls to be held in 2017.

Ravindra Waikar is a legislator from Jogeshwari, Dr Deepak Sawant represents the Sena in the Upper House from the Mumbai graduates constituency. Diwakar Raote doubles up as a resident of Dadar and Ramdas Kadam, who is an Upper House member and used to represent Khed in Konkan, lives in Borivli. The Sena has a huge presence in Konkan and the party gave Kesarkar the post considering his hold in the region and his ability to fight against Narayan Rane.

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