As the Shinde camp opts for minor departments, the BJP secures rich and influential portfolios

by Web Desk | Published: 14 Aug 2022

BMC Elections 2022
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde made the portfolio distribution on Sunday, the eve of Independence Day and before the monsoon session, five days after the cabinet expansion. Governor BS Koshyari gave the Chief Minister's Office the go-ahead to disclose the list.
 
General management, urban development, information technology, DGIPR, MSRDC, transportation, marketing, social justice and special assistance, relief and rehabilitation, disaster management, soil and water conservation, environment, minority affairs, and departments that weren't given to other ministers will all fall under Shinde's purview. Shinde has been in charge of MSRDC under the Fadnavis administration and afterward, when Maha Vikas Aghadi was in charge, along with urban planning.
 
Devendra Fadnavis, however, would be in charge of the home, finances and planning, legal and judicial affairs, water resources, housing, energy, and protocol. Interestingly, NCP controlled the departments of home (held by Dilip Wales-Patil), finance and planning (held by Ajit Pawar), water resources (held by Jayant Patil), and housing (held by Jitendra Awhad). By gaining control of these significant departments, Fadnavis intends to checkmate NCP, which used its influence to expand its organisational base in the state.
 
Along with animal husbandry and dairy development, a critical revenue department has been given to Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil instead of veteran BJP ministers like Chandrakant Patil or Girish Mahajan. The fact that Vikhe-Patil is from the cooperatively wealthy western Maharashtra and has the ability to mobilise resources has given him weight not only in the government but also in the party organisation. Before joining the BJP ahead of the 2019 assembly elections, he had transitioned from the Congress to the Shiv Sena and back to the Congress.
 
Other BJP ministers include Sudhir Mungantiwar, who will oversee the environment, culture, and fisheries; Chandrakant Patil, who will oversee higher and technical education; Vijaykumar Gavit, who will oversee tribal development; and Girish Mahajan, a close ally of Fadnavis who will oversee rural development and panchayats raj, medical education, sports, and youth welfare.
 
 
Image Courtesy: Twitter @AdimulamSweety