Ajit Pawar takes oath as Maharashtra deputy CM

Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra, deputy CM, Aaditya Thackeray, minister, Uddhav Thackeray, CM, NCP, Shiv Sena, cabinet expansion, ministers, Nawab Malik, Ashok Chavan
NCP leader Ajit Pawar has taken oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra. File photo: PTI

NCP leader Ajit Pawar has taken oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra on Monday (December 30) after a huge power tussle that was packed with dramatic twists and turns.

Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray, who is Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son, may also take oath as a minister along with NCP leader Nawab Malik.

Ten Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, will join the Uddhav Thackeray-led council of ministers for Maharashtra during the cabinet expansion on Monday (December 30), according to party sources.

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From the Congress, Ashok Chavan, KC Padvi, Vijay Wadettiwar, Amit Deshmukh, Sunil Kadar, Yashomati Thakur, Varsha Gaikwad, and Aslam Sheikh will take oath as Cabinet ministers, the sources said. Besides, Satej Patil and Vishwajit Kadam of the Congress will be sworn in as ministers of state, they added.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 1 pm in the Vidhan Bhawan (state legislature) premises where a total of 36 ministers are likely to take the oath, they said.

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray was formed on November 28. Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut of the Congress, Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena and Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP took oath along with Thackeray on November 28.

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The state Cabinet currently has six ministers, besides the chief minister. Maharashtra can have a maximum of 43 ministers. The size of the council of ministers cannot exceed 15 per
cent of the total number of MLAs, which is 288 in the state.

The Shiv Sena last month joined hands with the Congress and NCP, its traditional adversaries, after its alliance with the BJP collapsed over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.

According to the power-sharing formula decided by the three MVA allies, the Sena will get 15 ministerial berths, excluding the CM’s post. The NCP too will get 15 seats, and the Congress will get 12 seats.

The Shiv Sena has 56 MLAs, the NCP has 54, and the Congress has 44 MLAs in the 288-member House.

(With inputs from agencies)