Maharashtra gets new government

Maharashtra gets new government

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan with his wife at the swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday. PTIChavan heads a 38-member council of ministers, in which the junior partner the NCP has 20 ministers while the Congress has 18. The Congress will induct five more ministers later, to take its strength to 23.

NCP legislature party leader Chhagan Bhujbal was sworn in as the deputy chief minister. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Governor S C Jamir, whose intervention in the government formation saw both parties resolving their differences over portfolios in the past 72 hours.

Both Chavan and Bhujbal had come to their respective positions eight months ago, after the then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil had resigned in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Their short stint as “night watchmen” at the end of which they once again delivered a Congress-NCP victory to their political bosses, was suitably rewarded as they have been retained in their respective posts.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at Raj Bhavan, where a specially erected pandal had been kept ready for the past fortnight, costing the the state exchequer lakhs of rupees as rent.

Interestingly, R R Patil made a come back. Many ministers, including Vijay Singh Mohite Patil, Surup Singh Naik and Dilip Walse Pati in the previous ministry, have been dropped.