Uddhav Thackeray may give Maharashtra its 1st minister for CMO | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Uddhav Thackeray may give Maharashtra its 1st minister for CMO

By, Mumbai
Jan 04, 2020 12:51 AM IST

Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab could become the first cabinet minister in-charge of the chief minister’s office in Maharashtra. He was among the 36 ministers were sworn-in on Monday. The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is still to allocate portfolios to its ministers

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Parab, a Sena loyalist, is known to be close to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. This would be the first time a cabinet minister is made in-charge of the state CMO. It is said to be done to take the load off Thackeray as the minister in-charge of the CMO will do the heavy lifting. Apart from that, the files will be screened and filtered by him, before sending them to the CM, a Sena minister said.

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Since Monday’s cabinet expansion, Parab has been seen attending meetings with Thackeray. Sena insiders said Thackeray has health issues and may not be available 24x7. A go-to man for Thackeray, Parab can handle the tasks and keep the chief minister in the loop. Thackeray is expected to keep only one portfolio – general administration department - related to state administration.

Earlier, Sena leader and cabinet minister Subhash Desai was being considered for the position, Sena functionaries said. Desai is likely to be given the industries department, which he handled in the previous government. Parab, a shrewd backroom operator in the Sena, shot to limelight after the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections, where he helped the Sena get an edge over the Bharatiya Janata Party.

More recently, Parab, who is a lawyer, was a petitioner in the Supreme Court against the BJP’s 80-hour government.

Parab pipped heavyweights, including colleagues in the legislative council, Diwakar Raote, and Ramdas Kadam, and Mumbai MLA Ravindra Waikar, who is also known to be close to Thackeray, to get a cabinet berth.

Discussions over portfolio allocation got over on Friday. The Congress, which was demanding a department with rural connect, was satisfied after it was promised three more departments, confirmed two Congress ministers. “We will now get sports and salt land development, sports & youth welfare, cultural affairs department,” said a minister.

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    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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