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Shiv Sena formally joins Maharashtra govt, 10 cabinet minister sworn in

Ten cabinet ministers, each from BJP and Shiv Sena, were sworn in on Friday. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was present at the ceremony alongwith the chief minister.

The Sena leaders who were included in the cabinet were: Uddhav Thackeray’s trusted aide Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote, Eknath Shinde, Ramdas Kadam, Deepak Sawant.

“The BJP and the Shiv Sena have jointly decided that the Sena will get five cabinet ranks and seven ministers of state. But for now, we are putting on hold the oath taking of two ministers of state. It will happen after the winter session of the assembly,” a senior Sena leader, who was part of discussions with the BJP, told PTI.

Raote is set to get the transport ministry, while Sawant may get health. Industries ministry, currently headed by BJP leader Prakash Mehta, will now be reshuffled and given to Subhash Desai. Eknath Shinde, who had occupied the Leader of Opposition chair, will now head the MMRDC. Ramdas Kadam, a close confidante of Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray will get the environment ministry. Among those who were included as state ministers are: Sena MLAs Sanjay Rathod, Ravindra Vaikar, Dada Bhuse Vijay Shivtare and Deepak Kesarkar.

The two long-time allies had parted ways on December 15, just three weeks before the Maharashtra assembly elections, which threw up a fractured verdict in the 288-member legislature.

BJP not to include smaller allies

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, who is set to induct Shiv Sena members in his Cabinet on Friday, said none of the BJP’s smaller allies will be part of his Government for now but he will continue to work with them. “None of the smaller allies will be included in the Cabinet on Friday. But that does not mean they are not important. They are indeed very important to us because they are our allies. Our allies will be always taken into confidence in all our works,” he said while addressing reporters here. The BJP had fought the October Assembly polls in alliance with RPI (Athawale), Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP), Shetkari Sangathana and Shivsangram. Except RSP (one seat), none of othe parties could open their account.

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