A fortnight after Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi coalition government on Thursday finally distributed portfolios after hectic parleys.
The Shiv Sena has kept the home ministry, that was a key sticking point with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. However, no deputy chief minister has been announced, contrary to the expectations.
All the key ministries have been divided between the six ministers - two each from Sena, NCP and Congress - that were sworn in on November 28 along with Thackeray and the Cabinet has not been expanded yet. The portfolio distribution, sources said, is temporary keeping in mind the six-day Maharashtra assembly session that is set to start from December 26.
A statement from the CM's office said that Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has been given the charge of Home, Urban Development, Forest, Environment, Water Supply, Water Conservation, Tourism, Public Undertakings, Parliamentary Affairs departments.
The other Sena minister, Subhash Desai, has been given the charge of Industries, Higher and Technical Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, Horticulture, Transport, Marathi Language and Cultural Affairs, Ports.
NCP minister Jayant Patil has been allocated Finance and Planning, Housing, Public Health, Co-operation, Food & Civil Supplies, Labour and Minority Welfare. Chhagan Bhujbal, another NCP minister, has been given Irrigation, Rural Development, Social Justice, Excise, Skil Development, Food and Drug Administration.
Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat has been given Revenue, Energy, Medical Education, School Education, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Fisheries.
Congress's Nitin Raut has been given PWD, Tribal Welfare, Women and Child Welfare, Textile, Relief and Rehabilitation, OBC,VJNT, Special Backward Class Welfare. Chief minister Thackeray will keep the departments not allocated to any minister, the statement said.
The Cabinet expansion is likely to take place after the winter session of the state legislature ends on December 21.