Maharashtra chief minister allocates key portfolios

December 9th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 9 (ANS) Newly sworn in Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan Tuesday allocated the crucial home portfolio to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) senior leader Jayant Patil, who was finance minister in the previous government.Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was widely expected to take over the home portfolio, has retained his original assignment - Public Works Department (PWD).

The finance ministry has been given to Dilip Walse-Patil, who was power minister in the previous regime.

Balasaheb Thorat, senior Congress leader, will take over as new revenue minister, the ministry held by suspended party leader Narayan Rane.

NCP’s Vimal Mundada, will handle the PWD (public enterprise) ministry. Her place in the health department has been taken over by Rajendra Shingne, who will be the new health minister.

Ramesh Bang has been assigned Food and Civil Supplies, while Rajesh Tope will be the minister of Higher and Technical Education.

Nawab Malik will be the new labour minister, the same department he was handling before he was forced to resign following strictures by a commission of inquiry.

Chavan took office Monday evening as the chief minister, with Bhujbal as his deputy and 38 other ministers, including two women and six newcomers.

In his first public appearance, Chavan, accompanied by senior officials, Tuesday morning visited the victims of the recent Mumbai terror attack at the J.J. Hospital. He spent some time inquiring after the victims’ condition.

Chavan was elected the new leader of the Democratic Front Saturday to succeed Vilasrao Deshmukh, who quit following the Mumbai terror attacks.

Bhujbal was appointed in place of deputy chief minister and home minister R.R. Patil, who too quit last week.

Under the coalition arrangement between the Congress and the NCP, the Congress has 15 ministers, including seven of cabinet rank and eight ministers of state apart from the chief minister.

The NCP has 23 representatives, including 16 of cabinet rank and seven ministers of state and the deputy chief minister.

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