Power centres retain status quo in M'rashtra cabinet rejig

R R Patil back as home minister, Rane too gets berth

In a clear indication that the Congress’s “Mr Clean” has been unable to ignore the NCP heavyweights while expanding the state council of ministers on Friday, Chavan could hardly make any changes from the previous Ashok Chavan’s cabinet, as he retained most ministers, including Narayan Rane, whose two associates own flats in the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.

Most notable, the crucial Home Ministry once again went to NCP leader R R Patil, who was the deputy chief minister and home minister at the time of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
In total 19 Congress and 10 NCP ministers were inducted as per the power-sharing formula arrived at between the two coalition partners.

The chief minister kept the important Urban Development and Housing ministries with himself.

NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar got finance and planning in addition to the energy portfolio which he held in the previous Ashok Chavan cabinet as well.
Chhagan Bhujbal, who had to make way for Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister, was given Tourism in addition to the Public Works Department, which he held earlier.

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has been entrusted with agriculture and marketing departments, while media baron Rajendra Darda has been given school education.
Ironically, it was the Adarsh scam that cut short former chief minister Ashok Chavan’s stint in Maharashtra politics, as his three relatives had got apartments in the controversial building through his direct or indirect influence.

Same was true for other ministers as well, but Chavan had to pay the price for his indiscretion committed 10 years back, while others have become ministers or retained their power in the new cabinet.

Nevertheless, Rane was sought to be cut down to size by taking away his revenue portfolio and giving him industries and ports.

Balasaheb Thorat, whose name was doing rounds as one of the leaders to replace Ashok Chavan, was given revenue and salt lands.

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