41-day-old ministry expanded by Maharashtra CM to 20; no women in cabinettext_fields
Mumbai: Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra, added 18 new ministers on Tuesday, 41 days after taking the oath of office, nine from the BJP and nine from his rebel Shiv Sena group.
Politicians and women's rights advocates are criticising the decision not to include a woman on the list.
"Maharashtra was the first state in the country to give reservation for women. When 50 per cent of India's population is of women, they are not represented in the state cabinet," NCP MP Supriya Sule said. "This shows the BJP's mindset," she added.
Eighteen MLAs, including state BJP president Chandrakant Patil, were sworn in as cabinet ministers at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai on Tuesday. The strength of the Maharashtra ministry has now gone up to 20, less than half the maximum allowed the strength of 43.
Governor B S Koshyari administered the oath of office to the ministers. On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM.
The new BJP ministers are Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Chandrakant Patil, Vijaykumar Gavit, Girish Mahajan, Suresh Khade, Ravindra Chavan, Atul Save and Mangalprabhat Lodha.
From the Shinde group, Gulabrao Patil, Dada Bhuse, Sanjay Rathod, Sandipan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar and Shambhuraj Desai were sworn in as ministers. No minister of state was sworn in today. There will be another ministry expansion later, an aide of Shinde said.
While BJP has inducted Lodha, who hails from Mumbai, the Shinde group hasn't included any legislator from the financial capital, where municipal corporation elections are slated later this year.
The new ministers include Shinde group MLA Sanjay Rathod, who was the forest minister when Uddhav Thackeray was the Chief Minister and was forced to resign after BJP leaders blamed him for a woman's suicide.
Rathod's induction into the Cabinet. Was protested by state BJP vice president Chitra Wagh.
"It is very unfortunate that former minister Sanjay Rathod, who caused the woman's death, has been given the post of minister again. I will continue my fight against Rathod even though he has become a minister again," she said.
With PTI inputs