Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat today took oath as a minister in Maharashtra along with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who was sworn-in as the Chief Minister. Among the other leaders who took oath include Nationalist Congress Party's Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil, Shiv Sena's Subhash Desai, Eknath Shinde and Congress' Nitin Raut.
Mr Thorat, the eight-time MLA from Sangamner, currently heads the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). Earlier this week, he was also elected as the party's legislature wing leader.
The 66-year-old Congressman is well-known for the cooperative movement in the state where he led the farmers and also formed the milk cooperative. He is known for his work in Sangamner where he founded several cooperative educational institutions.
Mr Thorat has served on several portfolios including the minister of agriculture and revenue and the president of Sangamner district and state cooperative bank.
After weeks of political uncertainty and changing political equations in the state, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have come together under the "Maha Vikas Aghadi" front to form the government in the state.
The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month's Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, but the alliance broke after the BJP declined to share the chief minister's post. The BJP, which won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, banked on Ajit Pawar to bring in 54 NCP MLAs, but the gamble didn't work.