A month after the formation of a Maha Vikas Agadi coalition government in Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government on Saturday finally cleared allocation of portfolios to its ministers and also emerged as the biggest loser after it had to concede important portfolios to its alliance partners – Congress and NCP.
According to the reports, Shiv Sena had to cede important portfolios such as Home and Finance to its alliance partner NCP. Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar has been allocated the finance ministry while NCP leader Anil Deshmukh is the Home Minister of the state.
The other important portfolios such as Revenue and PWD have also been given to the Congress party. Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat has been allocated the revenue department while former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan will handle the public works department.
Meanwhile, Thackeray-scion Aaditya Thackeray, who is also an MLA, will be responsible for the tourism, environment and protocol ministry. CM Uddhav Thackeray will hold the charge of Ministry of General Administration, Information and Technology, Information and Public Relations, Law and Judiciary and other departments which have not been allocated to any other Minister.
On December 31, 36 leaders of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party were sworn in as Cabinet ministers, taking the total strength of the Cabinet to the maximum of 43. In the 288-member assembly, Shiv Sena has 56 seats, NCP has 54 and Congress has 44 seats.
The portfolio allocation shows that the balance of power in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has already tilted in the favour of the NCP and Sharad Pawar. The NCP has been successful in not only getting 16 ministerial posts but also retained the most crucial ministries.
However, Shiv Sena seems to have been reduced to a non-significant alliance partner in the coalition as even Congress got crucial departments like revenue and PWD out of its tally of 10. Besides the CM post, Shiv Sena has managed to get 14 other ministerial posts while it obtained urban development, agriculture and industries.
The allocation of portfolios has come at a time when the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government is being severely attacked by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the non-allocation of ministries even over a month after the installation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.