Congress-NCP extract top portfolios from Shiv Sena

NCP leader Ajit Pawar greets Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. (PTI Photo)

The fine print of Congress-NCP leadership was clearly visible as they extracted the majority of the Big Five and other key portfolios when Shiv Sena President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced his ministry on Sunday. 

However,  the 59-year-old Uddhav,  the leader of Maha Vikas Aghadi,  had to exercise caution and do a balancing act,  to ensure the stability of the alliance government that cannot lower its guard from the hawk-eyed vigil of the BJP,  that will leave no stone unturned to topple the dispensation. 

In Maharashtra, the Big Five portfolios are considered to be Revenue, Home,  Finance,  Urban,  Development and Housing. 

NCP President Sharad Pawar's nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will look after the Finance & Planning portfolios. 

The key Home portfolio has been entrusted to Anil Deshmukh, a stalwart from Vidarbha,  who is a close Pawar aide. Similarly, Pawar protege Dr Jitendra Awhad had bagged the Housing ministry. 

Congress's state President  Balasaheb Thorat will look after the Revenue ministry. 



The Shiv Sena has got only one of the top five slots with Uddhav aide Eknath Shinde getting twin portfolios of Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings). 

The Congress has adjusted its former Chief Minister and Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist Ashok Chavan by giving him the key ministry of Public Works (excluding Public Undertakings). 

Uddhav's son Aditya Thackeray has been allotted the Tourism, Environment and Protocol departments,  that would give him a good visibility and a chance of constant interaction with the public. 

Top Matoshree aides Subhash Desai and Anil Parab have got the Industries and Transport portfolios, respectively. Desai,  who was a close aide of late Bal Thackeray, would also look after Mining and Marathi language ministries. Parab would also be the Parliamentary Affairs minister.

NCP veteran Chhagan Bhujbal has got the Food,  Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection while state NCP President Jayant Patil will look after Water Resources and Command Area Development. 

Former Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil will look after State Excise and Labour while NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik has been given Minority Development and Wakf, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Dhananjay Munde of NCP has got Social Justice and Special Assistance ministries. NCP's Rajesh Tope would be the Public Health and Family Welfare minister while another veteran from his party Hasan Mushrif will hold the crucial Rural Development portfolio.

Congress leaders Yashomati Thakur and Varsha Gaikwad have got the Women & Child Development and School Education ministries. 

Late CM Vilasrao Deshmukh's son Amit Deshmukh has got the Medical Education and Cultural Affairs ministry while Shiv Sena's Uday Samant has got the Technical Education ministry.

Congressman Nitin Raut would handle the Energy portfolio while his party colleague Vijay Wadettiwar will handle a bunch of portfolios like Other Backward Classes, Socially and Educationally Backward Class,  Vumikta Jati,  Nomadic Tribe and Special Backward Classes Welfare, Khar Land development and Earthquake Rehabilitation. 

Congress veteran KC Padav will look after Tribal Development.

Sanjay Rathod of Shiv Sena has got the Forest, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation portfolios while his firebrand party colleague Gulabrao Patil has got Water Supply and Sanitation ministry. Old Shiv Sena hand Dada Bhuse will be in charge of Agriculture.

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