Maharashtra's Representation in Modi's Cabinet Decreases by Two, How?
Maharashtra's Representation in Modi's Cabinet Decreases by Two, How?

Mumbai: In Narendra Modi's third term as Prime Minister, six Members of Parliament (MPs) from Maharashtra have been inducted into the Union Cabinet. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has secured four of these positions, while allies Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India (A) (RPI (A)) have received one each. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, declined an offer for a Minister of State (MoS) position, seeking a cabinet berth for Praful Patel instead.

During Modi's second term (2019-2024), Maharashtra had eight ministers in the Union Cabinet, but this number has now decreased to six.

In the current cabinet, BJP stalwarts Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal have retained their positions as cabinet ministers. New inductees include Raksha Khadse, the only female BJP MP from Maharashtra, and first-time MP Murlidhar Mohol, both of whom have been sworn in as Ministers of State.

From the BJP's allies, RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale continues as Minister of State with independent charge. Prataprao Jadhav from Shiv Sena, under the leadership of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, has also been appointed as a Minister of State with independent charge.

The NCP, under Ajit Pawar, declined the MoS offer, insisting on a cabinet position for Praful Patel due to his significant experience. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured that coalition agreements would be respected and that the NCP would be considered in future cabinet expansions. "We had offered an independent charge MoS position to the NCP, but they wanted Praful Patel to be a cabinet minister. Given his experience, the NCP felt he deserved a higher role," Fadnavis explained.

Ajit Pawar, speaking in Delhi, confirmed that the NCP was willing to wait but was firm on wanting a cabinet berth for Patel.

In the previous term, the eight ministers from Maharashtra included Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Narayan Rane, Bhagwat Karad, Raosaheb Danve, Bharti Pawar, Kapil Patil (all from the BJP), and Ramdas Athawale from RPI (A).

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the BJP's performance in Maharashtra declined, winning only nine seats compared to 23 in 2019 out of the state's total 48 constituencies. The Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde secured seven seats, while Ajit Pawar's NCP won just one.

The BJP did not re-induct Narayan Rane into the Union Cabinet, despite his victory in Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. Additionally, three former BJP ministers—Raosaheb Danve, Bharati Pawar, and Kapil Patil—lost their seats in the recent elections.

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