NAGPUR, Maharashtra — Ajit Pawar, senior NCP leader and nephew of party supremo Sharad Pawar, took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Monday. This comes just a month after his surprise oath taking with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis.
The first time MLA from Worli assembly segment in Mumbai, Aaditya took oath as a minister in Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s cabinet.
The first cabinet expansion of this three-party coalition government, which came to power after Sharad Pawar bulldozed an early morning coup by Ajit Pawar on 23 November, took over a month because the allies were negotiating hard for key portfolios.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan also figures in the list of ministers who took oath on Monday, but the name of another prominent leader and former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan is missing. With Congress’s Nana Patole already taking over as the speaker of Maharashtra assembly, Prithviraj Chavan could be made the state president of Congress’s Maharashtra unit.
All four working presidents of Congress’s Maharashtra unit are being inducted into the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet while the current state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat took oath as a cabinet minister along with Uddhav Thackeray last month.
Despite getting the post of the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar might miss out on key portfolios. Sharad Pawar has also inducted his loyalist Jitendra Awhad who was instrumental in keeping the NCP MLAs together after Ajit Pawar’s revolt.