In a major Cabinet reshuffle in Maharashtra ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections, six ministers, including Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, have been dropped from Devendra Fadnavis-led Cabinet, a CMO official said on Sunday.
While six sitting ministers have been shown the exit door, 13 new legislators sworn in as ministers in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Those who took oath today included former Congressman and Leader of Opposition of the Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.
Patil, the son of veteran politician and former union minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, had recently quit the Congress and joined the saffron party after his son Sujoy won the Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket.
Besides Patil, those who took oath as ministers were - Ashish Shelar, Jaidatta Kshirsagar, Sanjay Kute, Yogesh Sagar, Avinash Mahtekar, Sanjay Bhegde, Parinay Fuke, Atul Save, Suresh Khade, Anil Bonde, Ashok Uike, Tanaji Sawant. In the new ministers, 10 are from the ruling BJP while two are from ally Shiv Sena. The Republican Party of India has also got one ministry in the new cabinet expansion.
Six ministers who were shown the exit door are - Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara and his junior minister Raje Atram, Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole and his junior Dilip Kamble, MoS Public Works Pravin Pote and Housing Minister Prakash Mehta.
The reshuffle has come ahead of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, scheduled to be held later this year. The decision to give more representation to the existing allies like Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India is seen as a pre-Assembly polls arrangment.