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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Maharashtra cabinet reshuffle: Vikhe Patil gets housing portfolio

While introducing new faces into his cabinet, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also reshuffled portfolios held by some senior ministers

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2019 08:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Newly sworn in minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil with his son, Sujay Vikhe Patil, at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Newly sworn in minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil with his son, Sujay Vikhe Patil, at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
         

While introducing new faces into his cabinet, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also reshuffled portfolios held by some senior ministers. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has been given the housing portfolio, while Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar has been made school education minister, by divesting the department from Vinod Tawde.

Like Tawde, few other ministers have been divested of their key departments. Co-operation minister Subhash Deshmukh has been divested of the marketing department, which has been given to Ram Shinde, who was the erstwhile water conservation minister. Shinde’s department has been allotted to Shiv Sena’s Tanaji Sawant, who was inducted into the cabinet on Sunday. Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar has been stripped of the labour department, which has been given to Sanjay Kute, along with other portfolios, including Other Backward and Vimukt Jati department. Suresh Khade, who was newly inducted into the cabinet, has been given the social justice department, held by Rajkumar Badole, who was dropped from the cabinet on Sunday. Ashok Uike has been made tribal development minister, to replace outgoing Vishnu Savara. Anil Bonde is the new agriculture minister. The department, which was with another senior minister Chandrakant Patil after the death of Pandurang Fundkar last year.

After senior minister Girish Bapat was elected as an MP from Pune last month, Fadnavis had allocated departments held by him to Jaykumar Rawal (food and civil supply) and Vinod Tawde (parliamentary affairs). Food and civil supply department minister has again been changed as it has been allocated to Sambhaji Patil Nilagekar.

“Ashish Shelar was expected to get the housing department, but it has been given to Vikhe Patil. Shelar has been vocal on housing issues in the city and was instrumental in solving some of them. At the same time, Kshirsagar was expected to get public health, which was allotted as an additional department to Eknath Shinde after Deepak Sawant’s term ended. But the CM has ensured to keep his internal party rivals under check by divesting some of their portfolios and allotting them comparatively less significant departments,” said a BJP minister. The minister said Subhash Deshmukh was divested of the marketing department due to the controversy over the sale of tur dal procured by farmers two years ago.