Mumbai: Thirty-six days after government formation, followed by the expansion of the state cabinet on December 30, 2019, ministers have been allocated cabins and bungalows but continue to languish without portfolios. The latter allocation seems to be stuck in the quagmire of meetings.
Mantralaya's Room No. 602, on the sixth floor, has not been given to anyone, bearing, as it does, an invisible 'unlucky' tag.
The room in question does not have a glorious past. It was occupied by senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse in 2014, when he was the agriculture minister.
The senior BJP leader had to face the ignominy of resigning after his name surfaced in a land grab case. As fate would have it, another BJP leader, Pandurang Fundkar, who happened to occupy the room, died of heart attack in 2018. By an uncanny coincidence, in 2019, BJP leader Anil Bonde, who held the room, lost the assembly elections.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday tried to dispel the impression that he is a superstitious person and is assiduously trying to avoid occupying room number 602 in Mantralaya.
He clarified to the news portal, which originally ran the story, that he only wants a cabin close to the Chief Minister and neither he nor Sharad Pawar have ever been superstitious.
Incidentally, Aaditya Thackeray has room no 717 on the 7th floor. There is also a scramble for bungalows.
Ajit Pawar has been already allotted the plush Devgiri bungalow while Ashok Chavan has Meghdoot, Dilip Walse Patil has Shivgiri, Dnyaneshwari is for Anil Deshmukh, Satpura for Dr Rajendra Shingane and Jetwan for Rajesh Tope.
The 36 ministers who took oath earlier this week have been allotted their respective bungalows.
Last month, CM Uddhav Thackeray became the new occupant of Varsha, Chhagan Bhujbal got Ramtek, Jayant Patil got Sevadan and Eknath Shinde got the Royalstone bungalow.
Aaditya Thackeray, who is part of the power centre, has been given the A6, while Bacchu Kadu has got Rockhill Tower 1202, Vishwajit Kadam Nilambari 302, Satej(Bunty) Patil got Suruchi 3 and Aaditi Tatkare the Suniti 10 living room.