Maharashtra agriculture minister missed 11 of 35 cabinet meetings: RTI
Pandurang Fundkar says he missed only two meetings for personal reasons, as for the rest, he was either attending state functions or was part of delegation on foreign tourmumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2017 19:40 IST
Apart from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, not a single minister has a 100% attendance record for the cabinet meetings that were held from July 2016 to May 2017. Agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar tops the list of absentees.
As per the state’s reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by activist Anil Galgali, of the 35 cabinet meetings held in the past 11 months, Fundkar has missed 11.
He said, “I could not attend three meetings, as I had to be present at other government and statutory functions. I missed a few because I was on an official foreign tour, as part of the state’s delegation. I sought the CM’s permission to remain absent for these meetings. There were only two meetings I could not attend due to personal reasons — one when my son got married and the other when my daughter got married.”
Besides Fundkar, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, social justice minister Rajkumar Badole, women and child development minister Pankaja Munde and labour minister Sambhaji Nilangekar also made it to the list of absentees.
As per reply given by the chief secretary’s office, Mungantiwar and Bawankule were absent for nine cabinet meetings. While Badole, Munde and Nilangekar skipped eight meetings.
“Other than CM Fadnavis, all 22 ministers have been absent in some or the other cabinet meeting. These meetings are held to discuss important issues to properly govern the state. Hence, it is important for every minister to attend every single meet,” Galgali said.
On the other hand, education minister Vinod Tawde, transport minister Diwakar Raote, tribal development minister Vishnu Savra and dairy development Minister Mahadev Jankar missed just one meeting each. While water resources and medical education Minister Girish Mahajan was absent from two meetings. The Maharashtra cabinet has 23, including Fadnavis, following its expansion in July 2016.