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Posted at: Jun 17, 2019, 6:25 AM; last updated: Jun 17, 2019, 8:02 AM (IST)

Cong, NCP defectors join Team Fadnavis

Former Leader of the Oppn Vikhe-Patil, who quit the Congress recently, among 13 ministers take oath
Cong, NCP defectors join Team Fadnavis
Vikhe-Patil

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 16

Former leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil who quit the Congress and Jaydutt Kshirsagar who defected from the NCP to join the ruling coalition were among 13 new faces who were inducted into the cabinet of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today. The cabinet expansion comes less than four months before Assembly elections are due in the state.

Vikhe-Patil and Kshirsagar were among eight new cabinet ministers and five ministers of state who were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao today. 

Six ministers, including Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, who is accused of corruption, were among those dropped in today’s exercise.

“We hope to accomplish a lot of work in the next few months since we have inducted more members in the cabinet,” Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony. The first to take oath as minister today was former Congress MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who was the Leader of the Opposition, till a few weeks ago. He quit the Congress to join the BJP shortly after his son Sujay was elected as Member of the Lok Sabha representing the saffron party from Ahmednagar. Kshirsagar was the next in line. He had quit the NCP and is now a member of the Shiv Sena.

Among others inducted in the cabinet included Avinash Mahatekar from the Republican Party of India (Athawale) who is MoS. Prominent entrants into Fadnavis’ cabinet include Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and city BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar.

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