As the news was doing the rounds that several ministers were upset and displeased over the allocation of portfolios, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday intervened and clarified that all is well.
‘’How the minister gives justice to the assigned department is important that what the department has been allocated. The ministers will successfully discharge their responsibilities of the concerned departments. Once a minister becomes a minister, he is not a minister of a particular region but a minister of the entire state. We will do justice and all-round development through these ministers across the state,’’ said Shinde.
Shinde’s clarification came after ministers Chandrakant Patil (BJP), Dada Bhuse, Deepak Kesarkar and Sandeepan Bhumre (from Shinde camp) could not hide their dissatisfaction over the allocation of portfolios. Patil was denied revenue and public works, which he had held during the Fadnavis government but was made the minister of higher and technical education, legislative affairs and textile. Bhuse was given ports and mining, Kesarkar school education and Marathi language and Bhumre employment guarantee scheme and horticulture.
Patil after hoisting the flag at Kolhapur said, ‘’The British were able to rule this country because they first attacked the education system of this country. Therefore, to make radical changes in the education system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented the new education policy. Higher and technical education department is important to implement this policy.’’ He further added, ‘’Textile industry in Maharashtra is in fact one step ahead in terms of employment generation along with sugar mills. I had held this department for 2 years during the Fadnavis government, many new schemes were implemented during that time. Even now, many innovative experiments are planned.’’
Kesarkar, who was expecting tourism and environment while eyeing the Konkan region development, opined that through school education he had limited scope for doing something more for the Konkan region. He instead blamed the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena for not bagging lucrative and politically important departments. He however, later clarified that he was not upset but quite satisfied for being made school education minister.
Bhumre, who comes from the underdeveloped Marathwada region, was holding an employment guarantee scheme in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He was expecting a new department but failed to get it.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also scoffed at reports about ministers being unhappy over the portfolio allocation saying that during the next round of expansion exchange of departments between Shinde camp and BJP was possible. He claimed that it was CM’s prerogative to allocate portfolios to the ministers. ‘’There are no differences over portfolio allocation,’’ he noted.
Meanwhile, Yuva Sena chief and former tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray took a dig at the Shinde-Fadnavis government over the portfolio allocation saying, ‘’When the focus is on Government and not Governance, it takes 41 days for cabinet expansion (with a promise of another one), and then 5 days for portfolio allocation (with a major imbalance of power), in a dispensation with no representation for women and State’s capital- Mumbai.’’