Devendra Fadnavis Scores Big In Eknath Shinde Cabinet Allocation

Eknath Shinde, who expanded his two-member cabinet this week by inducting 18 ministers, has kept the Urban Development portfolio with himself.

Eknath Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister with the help of the BJP.

Mumbai:

Seven weeks after he took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister with the help of the BJP, Eknath Shinde returned the favour by handing out the big ministries of Home and Finance to his Deputy Devendra Fadnavis.

Mr Shinde, who expanded his two-member cabinet on Tuesday by inducting 18 ministers, has kept the Urban Development portfolio with himself.

A statement from the Chief Minister's Office said Mr Fadnavis will also handle the Planning Ministry, and BJP minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil will be the new Revenue Minister.

BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has been made the Forest Minister, a portfolio he handled earlier.

Former state BJP president Chandrakant Patil is the new minister for higher and technical education, He will also look after parliamentary affairs.

From the Eknath Shinde camp of Shiv Sena rebels, Deepak Kesarkar is the new minister for school education, while Abdul Sattar has been given the Agriculture portfolio.

Mr Shinde's cabinet expansion was sealed earlier this week, 41 days after he was sworn in, displacing Uddhav Thackeray.

Mr Thackeray was forced to quit as Chief Minister after Mr Shinde, a senior leader from his party, the Shiv Sena, instigated a huge revolt in partnership with the BJP. Eknath Shinde was rewarded by the BJP with the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister.

Devendra Fadnavis had taken the Deputy's job hours after announcing he would not be part of the government. Having served as Chief Minister earlier, he had been concerned about a diminished role but was persuaded to take the job by his party.

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