After reshuffling his cabinet, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis effected sweeping changes in his council of ministers, adding former Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil to the Cabinet, rewarding some members with more important portfolios while shunting aside others.
While Vikhe-Patil, who was inducted into the BJP from the Congress, replaced Prakash Mehta as the housing minister, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, will get the school education, sports and youth welfare portfolios, ensuring that Vinod Tawade will be left with higher and technical education and cultural affairs.
It was believed that Shelar would replace Mehta as the housing minister.
The Shiv Sena's Jaydutt Kshirsagar and Tanaji Sawant will land EGS and horticulture and water conservation respectively. Water conservation minister Ram Shinde will be the minister for agriculture marketing and textiles, a portfolio which was held by co-operation minister Subhash Deshmukh.
Suresh Khade, Anil Bonde and Dr Sanjay Kute, will be ministers for social justice, agriculture and labour respectively. Ashok Uike will replace Vishnu Savra as the tribal development minister. Savra is among the six ministers who have been dropped from the council of ministers.
After the redistribution of portfolios, Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, will replace Girish Bapat, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Pune, as the food and civil supplies and consumer protection minister, and also retain his original skill development portfolio. Jaykumar Rawal will be the minister for FDA, tourism and protocol.
Of the five ministers of state, who took oath on Sunday, Yogesh Sagar will handle urban development, while Avinash Mahatekar will be in charge of social welfare and special assistance. Parinay Fuke will replace Pravin Pote- Patil and Ambarishrao Atram as the minister of State for public works and forests, and Atul Save and Sanjay (Bala) Bhegade have been given charge of labour and environment and industries and minority development, respectively.