As the BJP gets ready to elect Devendra Fadnavis as the new chief minister today, post-Diwali lobbying has been going on in the city for crucial portfolios in the small cabinet of six or seven ministers that will be sworn in on October 30.
The party is busy trying to make the oath-taking ceremony a grand spectacle, which for the first time will be held in the well-know cricket venue, Wankhede Stadium in south Mumbai. More than 30,000 party supporters from across the state are expected to throng the cricket stadium; BJP chief ministers, BJP state presidents apart from prominent members of Mumbai’s glamour circuit are expected to attend the inauguration.
The BJP leadership in Delhi meanwhile has been busy showing the Shiv Sena its place and the latest indication is that the party may not get any important portfolios.
What is the portfolio allocation likely to be?
Fadnavis may keep the urban development, housing and general administration portfolios.The new MLA from Borivli, Vinod Tawde may get finance and tourism. However, he was eyeing the all-powerful home department which may now go to former state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar. Eknath Khadse is likely to be put in charge of the revenue department.
Who will get the lesser portfolios and other jobs?
Senior party legislator from Pune Girish Bapat may get parliamentary affairs or he will be the party’s choice for the post of assembly speaker. Bapat enjoys rapport with all party leaders apart from his own colleagues and was also chief whip of the party. Haribhau Bagde is likely to be the chairman of the legislative council. The late Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde-Palwe may be put in charge of rural development and education department, Earlier she was also considered for women and child welfare portfolio. The party is also considering giving a token representation to minorities and so Pasha Patel,who lost the election but who had made a plea for inclusion in the cabinet is likely to be nominated to the state council and given minorities welfare portfolio. BJP’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar is slotted for the public works portfolio.
What about the other legislators who won creditable victories?
On Friday only senior leaders, most of them mentioned above, will take oath. Other probables like Prakash Mehta, Raj Purohit, Madhuri Misal, Sunil Deshmukh, former Congress minister Dr Vijaykumar Gavit, health minister in the previous government, may be taken into the cabinet at a later date after other contenders are pacified.