Maharashtra Cabinet Expansion: Ex-Cong Leader Vikhe Patil Sworn-in
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil & Ashish Shelar take oath as ministers, in presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil & Ashish Shelar take oath as ministers, in presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.(Photo: ANI)

Maharashtra Cabinet Expansion: Ex-Cong Leader Vikhe Patil Sworn-in

Former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil was sworn-in on Sunday as a minister in the state cabinet led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Vikhe Patil, who was leader of opposition in the state Assembly, resigned from the Congress recently. His son Sujay Vikhe Patil is the BJP MP from Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat in the state.

Apart from Patil, Jaidatta Kshirsagar, Ashish Shelar, Dr. Sanjay Kute,Dr. Suresh Khade, Dr. Anil Bonde, Dr. Ashok Uike, Tanaji Sawant took oath as Ministers in the Maharashtra Cabinet at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.

Yogesh Sagar, Dr. Avinash Mahtekar, Sanjay Bhegde, Dr. Parinay Fuke, Atul Save took oath as a Minister of State.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra housing minister Prakash Mehta and five other state ministers quit their posts, an official in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. Besides Mehta, the others who resigned as ministers are Rajkumar Badole, Vishnu Sawra, Dilip Kamble, Praveen Pote and Amrish Atram. The chief minister has accepted their resignations, the official added.

The cabinet expansion took place a day before the monsoon session of the state legislature and four months ahead of the Assembly polls.

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In the last few days, both Fadnavis and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had given enough indications about a cabinet expansion.

Earlier, on Friday night, Fadnavis had met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and discussed about the ministers to be inducted in his cabinet. "I met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshri and discussed in detail cabinet expansion," Fadnavis had tweeted late Friday night.

The Republican Party of India (Athawale) Saturday announced that its leader Avinash Mahatekar will be inducted into the Fadnavis government in Sunday's expansion.

Currently, there are 37 ministers including the chief minister, and Fadnavis can accommodate another five.

A vacancy was created in 2018 when BJP's Pandurang Fundkar died, the then agriculture minister. The portfolio is now being handled by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil. Deepak Sawant, then health minister, resigned earlier this year and the department is being looked after by Eknath Shinde, who is also the PWD minister.

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