Former Congressman and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today joined the cabinet of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharasthra. Vikhe Patil was sworn in as a minister by Governor C.V. Rao at a function in Raj Bhavan. The BJP’s Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar also took oath as a minister.
Ahead of the expansion, the Fadnavis cabinet had 38 ministers – out of which 22 were cabinet ministers and 16 were junior ministers. A total of eight ministers and five ministers of state were sworn in.
Jaidatta Kshirsagar and Tanaji Sawant of Shiv Sena, besides Aashish Shelar, Sanjay Kute, Suresh Bhau Khade, Anil Bonde and Ashok Uike of BJP also took oath as Cabinet ministers.BJP leaders Yogesh Sagar, Sanjay Bhegde, Parinay Fuke and Atul Save, besides Avinash Mahtekar of RPI were sworn-in as ministers of state.
Assembly election in Maharashtra are due later this year. Patil who submitted his resignation as a member of the Assembly on June 4, was widely tipped to join the Fadnavis cabinet. Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil had switched to BJP from Congress before the recent Lok Sabha elections. He won the Ahmednagar seat with a margin of 2.81 lakh votes. Vikhe Patil had quit as Leader of Opposition in March, days after his son joined the BJP.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra housing minister Prakash Mehta and five other state ministers quit their posts. 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.