After stepping down, Uddhav returns as editor of Saamana

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 06-08-2022 | 12:45 am

After stepping down, Uddhav returns as editor of Saamana

A MONTH after stepping down as the chief minister of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday again took over the editorship of party’s mouthpiece Saamana.In the print line of the Marathi daily, Uddhav’s name was published as an editor and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut as an executive editor on Friday. Raut has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged involvement in the Patra Chawl scam case.Saamana, which is also published in Hindi with the name Dopahar Ka Saamana, was launched by late party founder Bal Thackeray in 1989. He was an editor of the paper till his demise in 2012. After Bal Thackeray, Uddhav had become the editor of the paper. After becoming chief minister in 2019, Uddhav had stepped down as the editor of the paper. His wife Rashmi had become the editor in March 2020.The move comes amid the crisis that the party is facing following the rebellion by the Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, leading to the collapse of the Uddhav-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.A source said, “Earlier, he (Uddhav) had left the position (as Saamana editor) after becoming the CM, as it may have created a conflict of interest because he was holding a constitutional position. Now, since he is not holding any constitutional position, he has taken over as an editor of the paper again.”A Shiv Sena functionary said, “Thackeray, who is already interacting with party’s office-bearers and Sena leaders on a regular basis, will now also look after the editorials of the party.”

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Maharashtra Cabinet ministers allotted portfolios
The Indian Express | 11 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:45 am
The Indian Express
11 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:45 am

MAHARASHTRA CHIEF Minister Eknath Shinde allocated portfolios to his 18 Cabinet ministers on Sunday, a week after they were sworn in.Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari approved the portfolio distribution in the evening.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ensured that the majority of important portfolios were allocated to it with deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis managing to keep both Home and Finance departments. CM Shinde kept the Urban Development Department (UDD), which he handled in the previous MVA government. He will handle Information and Technology, Public Works (Public undertakings), Transport, Marketing, Social Justice, Relief and Rehabilitation, Disaster management, Soil and water conservation, Environment and Minority Affairs.Apart from Home, and Finance, Fadnavis has Law and Judiciary, Irrigation, Housing, Power and Protocol.The portfolio distribution shows that despite nine ministers each from both sides, the BJP has managed to hold on to the majority of important departments.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxShinde has restarted the tradition of CM holding the UDD portfolio, which was stopped by then CM Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray had appointed Shinde as the UDD minister, unlike his predecessors. He has also kept Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is involved in some of the biggest projects in the state, including the  multi-thousand crore Nagpur-Mumbai super communication highway.Among the 18 Cabinet ministers, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil will handle Revenue, Animal Husbandry and Dairy development. Maharashtra BJP’s former president Chandrakant Patil will be Higher and Technical Education, Textile and Parliamentary Affairs minister while former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will be Forest, Cultural Affairs and Fisheries minister.Dr Vijaykumar Gavit will be Tribal Development minister while Girish Mahajan will handle Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Medical Education and Sports & youth welfare portfolios. Suresh Khade will be the new Labour minister and Ravindra Chavan will handle Public Works department (PWD); Food, civil supplies and consumer protection. New entrant Atul Save will handle Cooperation and OBC department portfolios and former BJP Mumbai chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha will be the new Tourism, Skill Development and Woman and child welfare minister of Maharashtra.Meanwhile Fadnavis, who was seen as on the backfoot after the party asked him to accept the Deputy CM’s post, has managed to emerge stronger. Not only did he secure important departments, he also successfully upstaged senior BJP leaders such as Patil and Mungantiwar who were given comparatively less important departments. On the other hand, Revenue portfolio to Congress-turned-BJP leader Vikhe-Patil puts him on a bigger rank than others within the BJP.In a shocking demotion in Shinde camp, former agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse was given the charge of Ports and mining portfolios only. Gulabrao Patil has kept his earlier Water supply and sanitation department. Controversial minister and former forest minister Sanjay Rathod will be the new Food and Drug Administration minister. Shinde loyalist Sandipan Bhumare has got the Employment guarantee scheme and horticulture. Uday Samant will be the new Industries minister of Maharashtra while Tanaji Sawant is being given the responsibility of the Public Health department. Abdul Sattar is the new Agriculture minister while Deepak Kesarkar will be the new School Education and Marathi Language minister. Shambhuraj Desai will handle the State Excise department.

Maharashtra Cabinet ministers allotted portfolios
Regret that I didn’t break away & ally with BJP in 2019: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
Times of India | 12 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:15 am
Times of India
12 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:15 am

THANE: CM Eknath Shinde said on Saturday that he rued the fact that he did not defy the Shiv Sena's orders and align with the BJP instead of being part of the MVA in 2019. Speaking at a Q&A session, he said, "Balasaheb (Thackeray) had said he would shut shop (Sena) but won't collaborate with the Congress and the NCP. That is exactly what we did. I feel I should have taken this step 2.5 years ago. When I met PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah, I asked them about the closed door meeting in 2019 over the CM seat-sharing formula. They denied having made any such commitment." Defending the BJP, he dismissed theories of it having triggered a split in the Sena. "Modi and Shah told me that if the BJP supported you and Nitish Kumar as CM despite having the majority, then it would definitely have honoured its commitment (to Uddhav Thackeray) if it was made," he said. Remarking that it was the BJP that had elevated an ordinary Sainik to CM's post, he justified his rebellion, saying it was only to keep "Balasaheb's Sena from being overpowered by its newfound allies". Targeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shinde claimed that many from rival camps were keen to align with his group but had been rejected because the government had the numbers. On stalling projects okayed by the MVA, he said most decisions had been taken when the MVA was in a minority.

Regret that I didn’t break away & ally with BJP in 2019: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra: Eye on chairperson’s poll, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray not to quit council
Times of India | 12 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:01 am
Times of India
12 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 05:01 am

MUMBAI: Over a month after he stepped down as CM and announced his resignation as member of the legislative council, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is still to quit his Upper House membership. Sena sources said Uddhav was unlikely to resign, but would instead continue to ensure that the party's newly appointed leader of opposition in the council, Ambadas Danve, retains his post. Besides, the Sena is keen to ensure more votes for the MVA when election for the council chairperson is held. "Uddhavji hasn't given a formal letter of resignation. So, he is still an MLC and he will continue. He will not attend any session, but will retain his membership so that the Sena's and the MVA's numbers do not fall short during the election of the chairperson," a senior Sena functionary said. "At present, the post of chairperson is vacant and deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe (Sena) is holding charge. If the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government gets the 12 nominees from the governor's quota appointed, every MLC will count during the chairperson's election. So, it has been decided that Uddhavji will not resign for now. If the chairperson's election is held before the 12 members are nominated, the MVA can easily win it. So, Uddhavji's vote is important," the functionary added. The Sena has 12 members in the legislative council and has claimed the support of one independent. The NCP has 10 members and the backing of an independent. The BJP has the maximum of 24 members, while the Congress has 10.

Maharashtra: Eye on chairperson’s poll, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray not to quit council
Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis keeps home, finance, leaves imprint on new cabinet
Times of India | 13 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 04:35 am
Times of India
13 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 04:35 am

MUMBAI: Days before the monsoon session of the assembly, allocation of portfolios in the state cabinet has been finalized with BJP securing key ministries including home and finance for Devendra Fadnavis. CM Eknath Shinde has kept a large number of berths for himself, presumably to distribute some to supporters in the Shiv Sena in the next phase of cabinet expansion. This includes urban development, public enterprises, environment, general administration and transport. Similarly, Fadnavis has been tasked with home, finance, planning, law & judiciary, water resources, housing and energy, some of which may be divested later. TOI had reported on August 10 that Fadnavis was expected to keep home & finance and Shinde urban development. Most high-profile ministries including Revenue (Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil), Higher Education (Chandrakant Patil), Rural Development (Girish Mahajan) have gone to BJP. According to a BJP cabinet member, Fadnavis had a big say in allocations to both parties. The new-look cabinet underscores the BJP leadership's decision to give the deputy CM a prominent role and blunt the opposition's attack on Shinde. And though there is talk of discontentment over portfolios within both BJP and Sena, Fadnavis denied it. "All are happy, no discontentment," he said. BJP takes driver's seat in state adminThe two ministries in the Maharashtra cabinet considered most sought after - home and finance - had aspirants ranging from the chief minister to BJP veteran Chandrakant Patil. The fact that both have stayed with Devendra Fadnavis is believed to be an indication of the clout that the erstwhile CM commands in the Shiv-BJP coalition. "The allocation of portfolios was directly influenced by Fadnavis. Eknath Shinde agreed to the proposals made by Fadnavis and there was no interference by the BJP leadership. Initially, it was expected that Shinde will seek home department, but following intervention of Fadnavis, it was allocated to him,'' a BJP cabinet member said. Fadnavis, however, chose to underplay his own role saying "allocation of portfolios is the prerogative of chief minister Eknath Shinde." He said Shinde had allotted the departments and "I am sure all cabinet members will do full justice to the departments allotted to them...We are working under the leadership of Shinde." Of the 106 BJP MLAs, 10 have been inducted in the cabinet, while of the 40 in the Shinde camp of Shiv Sena, 10 were included. The bulk of the plum portfolios, however, have been secured by BJP members. Former Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who joined BJP a few years ago, along with his son Sujay Vikhe, appears to be a major beneficiary among leaders who have switched loyalties to the BJP in recent years. Fadnavis has allocated him the lucrative revenue portfolio. Among other high-profile assignments to Fadnavis's associates, former state BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who was revenue minister in the earlier BJP-Sena regime, has been allocated higher and technical education, textiles and parliamentary affairs though it is said he may have been keen on his earlier portfolio. Girish Mahajan, who is considered a trusted aide of the deputy CM, was expecting water resources and medical education departments, said sources. Now he has been allocated medical education, rural development, and panchayat raj, all of which are sensitive ministries. In the Fadnavis government in 2014-19, he was minister for water resources and medical education; this time water resources has been retained by the deputy CM himself. Fadnavis, who had drafted the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan to boost conservation and groundwater reserves in arid areas, may be keen to manage the program again. "I am not upset. There is scope for work in rural development department too if one works seriously," said Mahajan. Rebel Sena leader Dada Bhuse who may have expected to retain the agriculture department, which he handled in the MVA government, has been allotted ports and mining. The controversial Sanjay Rathod, who was forest minister under Thackeray and then dropped over allegations in a controversial case, has been rehabilitated following the intervention of Shinde. But he has been given a relatively less significant responsibility, the Food and Drug Administration department. BJP's Sudhir Mungantiwar who held finance and planning in the previous Fadnavis government, has been allocated forest, cultural affairs and fisheries. Spokesperson of the rebel camp, Deepak Kesarkar, who was vying for tourism and environment on the grounds that he belongs to the coastal Konkan region, was allotted school education and Marathi language. Abdul Sattar who was angling for minority affairs and revenue, has been allotted agriculture. Tribal leader Vijay Kumar Gavit, who defected from NCP and was expecting medical education, has been allotted tribal development. He was medical education minister during the NCP-Congress rule prior to 2014. A few rebel Sena ministers are believed to dissatisfied with their portfolios and are of the view they had a higher profile under Uddhav Thackeray. "We expect that in the second expansion, we will get a better opportunity,'' said one of them. Fadnavis denied any disputes over portfolios. "If there is a need, some of the departments may be exchanged at a later stage, nothing is watertight," he added.

Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis keeps home, finance, leaves imprint on new cabinet
'Original' Shiv Sena and BJP Will Contest Maha Civic Polls Together: CM Shinde
News18 | 17 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 12:02 am
News18
17 hours ago | 15-08-2022 | 12:02 am

The “original” Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest the forthcoming elections to civic bodies in Maharashtra together, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who heads the rebel faction, has said. Speaking at an event in Thane, he said the rebel camp represents the “original” Shiv Sena. “The BJP and the Shiv Sena will contest the forthcoming elections to civic bodies including Thane in alliance,” Shinde said on Saturday night.Elections for many municipal corporations, including Mumbai, are due over the next few months. Shinde’s announcement is significant as the rebel faction of 40 MLAs, including a few from Mumbai and the metropolitan region, may dent the traditional Marathi vote bank of the Shiv Sena.Speaking about the Thane Municipal Corporation, Shinde said the Shiv Sena has been ruling Thane for the last 25 years and voters will make the right choice. In the 2019 Assembly elections, the BJP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena had contested together but fell out later over sharing the post of the chief minister.“Balasaheb Thackeray always wanted the BJP and Shiv Sena to be in alliance. He never wanted Shiv Sena to be associated with either Congress or the Nationalist Congress Party. We are going to follow Balasaheb. The BJP and Shiv Sena are also in power in the state,” said Shinde, the MLA from the Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency in Thane.Read the Latest News and Breaking News here

'Original' Shiv Sena and BJP Will Contest Maha Civic Polls Together: CM Shinde