The eight-day-old Maharashtra government saw its first cabinet
expansion Friday with 29 more ministers being sworn in, among them
Congress party strongman Narayan Rane and two women.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also partially effected portfolio
allocation, deciding to handle the urban development portfolio
himself while handing over the finance ministry to Deputy Chief
Minister Ajit Pawar.
Governor K. Sankaranarayanan administered the oath of office and
secrecy to 29 ministers, including 19 cabinet ministers and 10
ministers of state, at a function held on the Raj Bhavan lawns.
With this, the strength of the Chavan ministry has gone up to 40,
including the chief minister and deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
On Nov 11, 11 ministers, including Chavan and Pawar, were
The ministers sworn in Friday are: Narayan Rane, Patangrao Kadam,
Shivajirao Moghe, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Harshavardhan Patil,
Balasaheb Thorat, Anil Deshmukh, Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Babanrao
Pachpute, Rajesh Tope, Rajendra Darda, Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan,
Suresh Shetty, Hasan Mushrif, Nitin Raut, Madhukarrao Chavan,
Padmakar Valvi, Varsha Gaikwad and Sanjay Deotale.
The new ministers of state include: Ranjit Kamble, Bhaskar Jadhav,
Prakash Solunke, Sachin Ahir, Fauzia Khan, Gulabrao Deokar, Satej
Patil, Rajendra Mulak, Rajendra Gavit and Dattatraya Sawant.
Among the prominent people in the ministry are Narayan Rane,
Patangrao Kadam, besides two women - cabinet minister Varsha
Gaikwad of the Congress and minister of state Fauzia Khan of the
Heavyweights like R.R. Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal from the NCP were
sworn-in last week.
The ministers from the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
were allocated portfolios in the afternoon, shortly after the
expansion of the state cabinet.
On the Congress side, Patangrao Kadam will continue as forests and
environment minister while Rajendra Darda has been appointed the
new minister for school education.
Senior leader Narayan Rane got a jolt when he was shifted from
revenue department to the indutries portfolio. The revenue
ministry has been handed over to Balasaheb Thorat.
Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil will be the new agriculture minister and
Harshavardhan Patil will be the new cooperation minister.
Ajit Pawar will be the new state finance and energy minister,
while R.R. Patil will continue as the home minister, in the
partial list of portfolios announced soon after the swearing-in.
From the NCP side, former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal
will now handle Public Works Department and Tourism, the former
finance minister Sunil Tatkare will be the new irrigatation
minister, and Jayant Patil will be the new minister for rural
development, earlier held by Ajit Pawar.
Rajesh Tope will be the new higher and technical education
minister, Hasan Mushrif will be the labour minister, Babbanrao
Pachpute will handle tribal development. Anil Deshmukh will be
food and civil supplies minister, Vijaykumar Gavit will handle
medical education and Laxmanrao Dhoble is in charge of water
supply and sanitation.
Present at the swearing-in were Chavan, Pawar, Chairman of the
State Legislative Council Shivajirao Deshmukh, Speaker of the
Legislative Assembly Dilip Walse-Patil, and Leader of Opposition
Eknath Khadse besides other ministers and officials.